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Hulu Chief Executive Jason Kilar is to leave the online video service in the first quarter, he disclosed Friday in a blog post.
Hulu is owned by several big entertainment companies, including Walt Disney Co. (DIS), Comcast Corp (CMCSA, CMCSK). and News Corp. (NWSA, NWS.AU), which also owns Dow Jones & Co., publisher of this newswire and The Wall Street Journal.
Mr. Kilar's departure comes amid an intense debate between some of the partners about Hulu's future strategy, including whether it should be an ad-supported free service or primarily a subscription-based service.
Mr. Kilar has also been pressing the owners to invest more in Hulu to allow it to expand. The Journal reported last month that he had asked the site's owners to invest about $200 million to fund more programming development. Hulu is competing with services such as Netflix Inc. (NFLX) and Amazon.com Inc.'s (AMZN) Prime Instant Video, which are investing heavily in programming.
The decision to leave comes five years after the company was founded. Mr. Kilar's departure had been long rumored. He gave no details in his blog post about the reasons for his departure. "'I've been so fortunate to play a role in this amazing, ongoing journey," he said in the memo, adding that he would work with the board on his transition.
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