Jason Kilar Poaches Another Key Hulu Exec For 'Fremont Project'
Former Hulu CEO Jason Kilar is raiding the video service once again for talent.
This time he's bringing Hulu's VP-product Lonn Lee aboard his secretive startup The Fremont Project. Mr. Kilar founded the startup with former Hulu CTO Richard Tom, who confirmed Mr. Lee's move in an email Thursday night. Last month the company hired Hulu's recently departed ad chief Jean-Paul Colaco to be its senior VP of advertising and business development.
According to his LinkedIn profile, Mr. Lee left Hulu this month -- weeks after former 21st Century Fox exec Mike Hopkins was appointed Hulu's CEO -- and is working on product management at the San Francisco-based startup. Mr. Lee had joined Hulu in February 2011 as a member of its mobile product team.
Little is known about The Fremont Project, which Messrs. Kilar and Tom have been working on since they left Hulu earlier this year. Mr. Kilar posted a cryptic tweet last month that linked to the company's single-page website, which describes it as "a new consumer-focused venture."
This tweet will be very relevant to a special kind of innovator. (We're hiring) http://t.co/g8Y59biYF7— Jason Kilar (@jasonkilar) October 2, 2013
Mr. Tom declined to offer any details regarding the company's plans. "We aren't sharing any product details at the moment as we're focused on building," he said.
However, mobile and video appear to figure largely in the company's plans. Mr. Lee is the second employee The Fremont Project has hired who had worked on Hulu's mobile product team. Hulu senior software developer Zachary Pinter who had worked on the company's Android and Windows Phone apps left in August to join the startup as a software engineer.
One exec who had spoken to Mr. Kilar recently told Ad Age that The Fremont Project is focused on mobile video, backing up what some execs term common knowledge in the entertainment industry.
However The Fremont Project may not limit itself to mobile video as smartphones and tablets become more closely connected to TVs. Before leaving Hulu, Mr. Lee had overseen efforts to make the company's paid subscription service Hulu Plus available through Google's Chromecast device that lets people stream videos from their laptop, tablet or smartphone through a TV.
TechCrunch had reported in May that Mr. Kilar's then-unnamed new company would be focused on the living room. Three days after that report was published, Mr. Kilar tweeted the following:
For many, the so-called second screen in the living room is turning out to be the first one.— Jason Kilar (@jasonkilar) June 1, 2013