An AT&T recruiter contacted Freer as well as Hulu’s founding CEO Jason Kilar, The Information reported, citing sources familiar with the matter. AT&T also approached former Disney Chief Operating Officer Tom Staggs, but talks quickly fell apart.
AT&T did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Longtime AT&T executive John Stankey is currently serving as both WarnerMedia CEO and AT&T COO. He has held the latter position since last fall. He is rumored to be a potential successor to current AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson.
Stankey took over as WarnerMedia CEO following AT&T’s acquisition of the company formerly known as Time Warner in 2018. He oversaw a restructuring at HBO, with a focus on more original content, and has spearheaded preparations for the upcoming streaming service HBO Max.
Freer left Hulu in January following an organizational restructuring at parent company Disney, which sought closer alignment between the streaming brand and other platforms such as Disney+ and ESPN+. Disney acquired control of Hulu as part of its deal to buy former 21st Century Fox television and film assets.
Freer served a two-year stint as CEO. Under the reorganization, Disney direct-to-consumer head Kevin Mayer oversees Hulu.
Kilar served as Hulu CEO from its launch in 2007 until his resignation in 2013.