Hulu has announced that it has secured the services of Elaine Paul, a former executive at The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS), as its new Chief Financial Officer. The hire secures the first major part of the company’s new management team. Paul will replace Tom Fuelling who has been at the streaming service since 2007.
The new CEO at Hulu, Mike Hopkins, just took his place at the head of the company last Thursday. Hopkins, who is a former executive at Twenty-First Century Fox Inc (NASDAQ:FOX), replaced acting CEO Andy Forssell at the head of the company. Paul is the first member of the new management team at Hulu, and it certainly sets a trend.
Hopkins seems confident that the company can continue to perform. In a blog post, he said “we are on pace to have one of the strongest years yet for Hulu. I have no doubt that this incredible momentum will continue and flourish with Elaine’s leadership.”
Mike Hopkins on Hulu’s CFO
In a blog post on the new hire, CEO Mike Hopkins called Paul “one of the most tenacious, disciplined and passionate executives I have ever worked with.” Hulu is owned by The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS), Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ:CMCSA) (NASDAQ:CMCSK) and Twenty-First Century Fox Inc (NASDAQ:FOX). The three companies agreed to give Hulu $750 million for investment in order to avoid selling the company earlier this year.
Elaine Paul will now be in charge of how that money is spent. Hulu is not the most stable company on the planet, but it is hoped that its new management will allow the company to perform well, and allow it to compete with the other big companies in the industry.
Hulu is operating in a very competitive industry, and it’s not performing particularly well. The streaming service has suffered from poor management and confused strategy in recent years as disagreement between the company’s parents dominated its decision making process. The company’s installation of a permanent CEO might finally allow it to operate in a way that lets it compete.
The most direct competitor to the company is Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX), but it’s becoming clearer and clearer that that streaming companies do not operate in a vacuum. Both Netflix and Hulu are competing directly with premium cable services, and both will have to come to terms with the industry as a whole if they hope to grow and return value to their shareholders.