Two of the biggest TV and entertainment companies have witnessed majorly impactful changes in their top-level executives. Sony Pictures Entertainment chairman and CEO Tony Vinciquerra has announced the arrival of Hulu’s former CEO Mike Hopkins as their new Chairman. At Hulu, Hopkins will be succeeded by Randy Freer, president and COO of Fox Networks Group and current Hulu board member, who has been named new CEO.
At Sony, Hopkins will be overseeing all television production, distribution, and marketing operations globally for the studio, as well as SPE’s media networks business. He will start in late November, and report to Vinciquerra.
Hopkins was president of distribution for Fox Networks Group under FNG chairman and CEO Vinciquerra until Vinciquerra’s 2011 exit from Fox. Hopkins was named CEO of Hulu in 2013 amid turmoil at the streaming service co-owned by 21st Century Fox, Disney, NBCUniversal, and Time Warner, which at the time had been run by an interim CEO while its owners were exploring a sale.
Over the past four years, Hopkins built up the company, which doubled in revenue, tripled its market value, and recently made Emmy history with 10 statuettes. They became the first streaming service to land a Best Series Emmy for the breakout drama The Handmaid’s Tale. Under Hopkins, a 20-year industry veteran, Hulu has grown its audience to 47 million total unique viewers and expanded its business to include live news, entertainment, and sports in addition to its existing SVOD offering. They have also entered premium original programming with Casual, The Mindy Project, The Path and The Handmaid’s Tale. On the acquisition front, Hulu has signed deals for movies from Epix, full libraries of exclusive programming from AMC Networks and FX Productions, as well as all episodes of such current and classic series as This is Us, Homeland, Black-ish, Seinfeld, CSI, Empire, Fargo, Nashville, Golden Girls and South Park.
“I’ve known Mike for years and can think of no better person to lead our television businesses during a time of such extraordinary evolution and opportunity,” Vinciquerra said. “Mike is a proven and innovative leader who has played a key role in redefining today’s television landscape, both for consumers and for how content producers reach them.”
“Tony has long been a colleague and mentor of mine, and I’m really excited to join him and the rest of the talented team at SPE,” said Hopkins. “There is a tremendous opportunity to build on SPT’s momentum globally and I look forward to working with the team to realize that potential.”