AT&T talked to ex-Hulu execs for WarnerMedia CEO job: Report

Talks are for successor to John Stankey now serving as both WarnerMedia CEO and AT&T COO

AT&T has approached former Hulu CEO Randy Freer and several other prominent entertainment industry executives in a bid to find a permanent CEO at WarnerMedia, according to a report on Tuesday.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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