AT&T, the parent company of WarnerMedia, has appointed Jason Kilar to oversee its vast media properties, which include HBO, CNN, Warner Bros. and the forthcoming streaming service HBO Max.
Kilar was the founding CEO of Hulu, and ran the streaming company from 2007 to 2013. He was known for being something of a gadfly at the time, and published a 2011 memo pointing to the future of streaming and taking down traditional media leaders, who happened to be his bosses at that moment.
In retrospect, Kilar looks like a visionary, but then was viewed as insubordinate. AT&T’s decision to go with him now shows the importance the company will be putting into streaming. But some in old-school Hollywood have doubts about the timing of the hiring. They’re wondering why Kilar would be named to start on May 1, when he won’t even be able to meet his new employees face to face because of the coronavirus pandemic.