WarnerMedia replaces CEO with Hulu co-founder Jason Kilar

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File photo: Jason Kilar, then-CEO of Hulu LLC.

Kimimasa Mayama | Bloomberg | Getty Images

AT&T is replacing WarnerMedia CEO John Stankey with Hulu co-founder Jason Kilar, the company announced Wednesday.

The transition will be effective May 1, with Kilar reporting to Stankey in his role as president and COO of AT&T, according to the release.

WarnerMedia has been searching for a new CEO since AT&T elevated Stankey to chief operating officer in September. AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson acknowledged that month that Stankey was a probable choice to take over as the next AT&T CEO if he “executes the play,” a nod to AT&T successfully integrating Time Warner, the $100 billion media company it acquired last year.

Stephenson told CNBC in February he plans to stay on as CEO of AT&T through the end of the year, but has not made a commitment beyond that point. AT&T’s executive shuffle on Wednesday puts Stankey in the best position to succeed Stephenson as CEO if Stephenson decides to step down after this year.

Kilar’s experience at Hulu gives him a solid background in streaming services as WarnerMedia seeks to compete with a bloated field of competitors. In addition to Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, new players like Disney+ and Apple TV+ are seeking to carve out market share.

Kilar served as CEO of Hulu since founding the company in 2007 until 2013, according to the announcement. Previously, he worked in a variety of roles at Amazon, including as senior vice president of worldwide application software.

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