It's a plum job at the nexus of TV, the web and the future. But the next CEO of Hulu will face a lot of challenges, not least of which is operating a growing business increasingly in conflict with its owners: Disney, News Corp. and Comcast. So, who wants to be CEO of Hulu?
There is no shortage of hand-raisers for the job, but execs close to the process say Hulu's muddled future would give any superstar outsider pause. The board has still not acted on outgoing CEO Jason Kilar's request for $200 million in additional funding to take on deep pockets at Netflix and Amazon, and a lack of long-term content agreements casts doubt on their level of commitment to the service.
While the networks and Hulu are keeping a tight lid on the process, one name keeps coming up among observers: former News Corp. digital chief Jon Miller, who left the company in August but has the trust of CEO Rupert Murdoch and COO Chase Carey. Mr. Miller said he hasn't yet been approached. Hulu also hasn't appointed a search firm, indicating that it hasn't yet cast a wide net -- even though Mr. Kilar has said he'll leave by April 1.
So far all signs point to an internal pick, which seems likely to be Andy Forssell, Hulu's head of content strategy. Mr. Forssell has been with the company from the start and is effectively Mr. Kilar's No. 2. Hulu declined to comment for this story.
The networks' eventual pick will say a lot about the future of the company. If Disney and News Corp. (Comcast is a silent partner) go with Mr. Forrsell or one of their own -- say, Disney interactive co-president Jimmy Pitaro -- it signals they want to rule Hulu with an iron hand.