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Hulu names Forssell interim CEO

Hulu has appointed its senior VP of content Andy Forssell as its interim CEO and he will take charge following departure of current boss Jason Kilar at the end of the month.

In a blog post announcing the move, Kilar said that Forssell had the Hulu board’s “strong support” and that a permanent decision would be made about the VOD site’s new CEO after Disney and News Corp. finish “finalising their forward-looking plans with Hulu.”

According to a Wall Street Journal report earlier this month, News Corp and Disney – which co-own Hulu with Comcast – have each expressed interest in recent months about buying one another out, with a possible outcome that one firm takes the other’s stake or both sell to a third party.

“Hulu’s focus remains on delivering a fantastic 2013 for customers and shareholders. Hulu is well on its way, with new records being set in Q1 across both revenue and subscriber additions,” said Kilar, without giving more details about the high level discussions taking place by the firm’s owners.

Kilar said in January that he and chief technology officer Rich Tom would to leave the US online TV company during the first quarter – a month after Disney, News Corp. and Comcast purchased Providence Equity Partners’ 10% stake in the company for US$200 million, valuing it at about US$2 billion.

Reports at the time suggested that Kilar has been under pressure to focus more on profitability at a time when content costs have been rising thanks to competition from Netflix and others.

Forssell joined Hulu in 2007 and helped grow the firm from just two content partners to more than 450 today, logging revenue of US$700m last year.

“Andy exemplifies the Hulu culture and has been central to Hulu’s journey,” said Kilar. “He’s been a critical senior executive and has been here from the start of this great adventure.”