Hulu CEO Jason Kilar is resigning from the company in the first quarter of this year, he said in a post published Friday on the company's official blog.
Rich Tom, chief technical officer at the subscription-based, over-the-top (OTT) streaming video service, is also leaving Hulu this quarter, according to Kilar.
"In what is an understatement, this email has proven difficult for me to both write and send. I've decided to depart Hulu in Q1. I am currently working with the Board to ensure there is ample runway to manage this transition," Kilar wrote in the blog post, which he said he had earlier emailed to Hulu's more than 600 employees.
"Rich Tom will be doing the same, with roughly the same departure date. Rich and I have been fortunate to build and innovate alongside each other these past five-plus years and our plan is to do more of that on the road ahead."
Kilar's departure has been anticipated for some time, according to industry observers. The former Amazon executive has clashed with executives at ABC, NBC Universal, and NewsCorp, the three media giants that run Hulu as a joint venture, over Internet distribution and other business strategy issues.
Hulu grew to 3 million subscribers under Kilar's watch. The outgoing CEO outlined a few of the company's achievements over the past five years.
"We have grown from a few hundred thousand [dollars] in revenue in 2007 to generating almost $700 million in revenue in 2012 alone. We have created a video subscription service that is growing unusually fast, adding over 200,000 new subscribers in the past seven days alone (a new record). We have proudly generated over $1 billion for our content partners since we excitedly entered private beta in October 2007," he wrote.
In recent months, Hulu has made such notable moves as getting Hulu Plus onto Apple TV, Windows 8, and Nintendo's new Wii U console; launching a redesigned website; and landing new and archived CBS shows as well as current Nickelodeon content for Hulu Plus subscribers.
"I've been so fortunate to play a role in this amazing, ongoing journey. My decision to depart has been one of the toughest I've ever made. Though the words will fall short of the intended mark, please know how much this team means to me and how very thankful I am to be able to innovate and build alongside you each day," Kilar told his soon-to-be-former colleagues.
Hulu is currently available on a variety of smartphones, network-connected TV sets and Blu-Ray players, DVR players, streaming media players, and game consoles. In 2011, Hulu was reportedly up for sale but the joint venture's owners later announced they wouldn't be selling the company.
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