WarnerMedia replaces CEO with Hulu co-founder Jason Kilar

WarnerMedia replaces CEO with Hulu co-founder Jason Kilar

File photo: Jason Kilar, then-CEO of Hulu LLC.

Kimimasa Mayama | Bloomberg | Getty Images

AT&T is replacing WarnerMedia CEO John Stankey with Hulu co-founder Jason Kilar, the company announced Wednesday.

The transition will be effective May 1, with Kilar reporting to Stankey in his role as president and COO of AT&T, according to the release.

WarnerMedia has been searching for a new CEO since AT&T elevated Stankey to chief operating officer in September. AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson acknowledged that month that Stankey was a probable choice to take over as the next AT&T CEO if he “executes the play,” a nod to AT&T successfully integrating Time Warner, the $100 billion media company it acquired last year.

Stephenson told CNBC in February he plans to stay on as CEO of AT&T through the end of the year, but has not made a commitment beyond that point. AT&T’s executive shuffle on Wednesday puts Stankey in the best position to succeed Stephenson as CEO if Stephenson decides to step down after this year.

Kilar’s experience at Hulu gives him a solid background in streaming services as WarnerMedia seeks to compete with a bloated field of competitors. In addition to Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, new players like Disney+ and Apple TV+ are seeking to carve out market share. In an interview with CNBC’s Julia Boorstin Wednesday, Kilar said despite the coronavirus crisis, the company plans to stick to HBO Max’s expected May launch.

Kilar served as CEO of Hulu since founding the company in 2007 until 2013, according to the announcement. Previously, he worked in a variety of roles at Amazon, including as senior vice president of worldwide application software.

WATCH: Apple, Disney and other media giants are ready for battle against Netflix in the streaming war

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