Joe Earley has been named president of Disney-owned streaming service Hulu after Disney reorganized its executive structure, said Bob Chapek, chief executive officer, The Walt Disney Company, on Wednesday.
Earley, who is a former co-chair of the Promax board of directors, will report to Michael Paull, who has been promoted to the newly created role of president, Disney Streaming. Paull, who previously ran ESPN Plus, reports to Kareem Daniel, chairman of Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution (DMED). A new head of Disney Plus will be appointed in the future, while Russell Wolff will continue to serve as head of ESPN Plus, with both roles reporting into Paull.
Rebecca Campbell’s role as chairman, international content and operations is being expanded under the reorg. Previously, Campbell’s title was chairman, international operations and direct-to-consumer and her group was part of DMED. In her expanded role, Campbell will oversee local and regional content production for all of Disney’s streaming services, including Disney Plus, Hulu Plus, ESPN Plus and Star Plus. She will also continue to oversee Disney’s media teams worldwide, reporting directly to Chapek.
“Disney’s direct-to-consumer efforts have progressed at a tremendous pace in just a few short years, and our organization has continued to grow and evolve in support of our ambitious global streaming strategy,” Chapek said in a statement. “Rebecca has played a vital role in orchestrating our global platform expansion, and I’m excited that she will be leading our new International Content group, bringing her expertise and talent to oversee the growing pipeline of original local and regional content for our streaming services while continuing to lead our international operations. Likewise, with a relentless focus on serving consumers, Kareem has developed an industry-leading team of seasoned executives who are uniquely equipped to take our streaming business into Disney’s next century.”
Since Disney Plus launched in November 2019, Disney had accrued nearly 180 million subscriptions across Disney Plus, ESPN Plus and Hulu by the end of fiscal year 2021. The company plans to double the number of territories Disney Plus is in to more than 160 by fiscal year 2023. Disney also is investing significantly in the creation of original local and regional content to service its streaming services, with more than 340 titles in various stages of development and production.
“Great content is what drives the success of our streaming services, and I am thrilled to have the opportunity to work even more closely with the talented creators in our international markets who are producing new stories with local relevance to delight our audiences around the globe,” Ms. Campbell said in a statement. “Disney is admired the world over for the quality of our storytelling and the deep emotional connection we have with our consumers, and I am honored to continue leading our international teams as we build on that legacy.”
In her new role, Campbell will be responsible for expanding the international content creation pipeline. She will continue to oversee Disney’s teams in Asia Pacific, EMEA, India and Latin America who manage the company’s international linear channels, regional streaming, local ad sales and local distribution. Campbell has served in various executive roles at Disney, including as head of the ABC Owned Television Stations.
Paull will oversee DMED’s direct-to-consumer (DTC) platforms across the globe, as well as Disney Streaming’s product, technology, data science, operations and viewer experience teams. He joined Disney in 2017 as part of the acquisition of Bamtech Media, where he served as CEO, and he and his team have been central to Disney’s pivot into the direct-to-consumer space, launching ESPN Plus in 2018, followed by the launch and global expansion of Disney Plus in 2019, and the launch of Star Plus in Latin America in August 2021.
Prior to Bamtech, Paull spent five years at Amazon as vice president, digital video, where he ran Amazon Channels worldwide.
“From the inception of our DTC business, we have been guided by a single, clear goal – to bring audiences the best entertainment wherever and whenever they choose – and we have continued to build a world-class team to deliver on that promise,” Daniel said in a statement. “Michael Paull has deep experience in the world of streaming, and is an accomplished leader with a passion for this business and a proven track record of building and expanding our streaming operations. Bringing Disney’s streaming platforms together under Michael’s expert leadership will allow us to create an even more compelling value proposition for consumers.”
“Now that we have established our platforms as category leaders, I’m looking forward to the new challenges ahead as we continue to innovate and scale globally, while delighting consumers with all the incredible entertainment and sports programming coming from our content partners. I’ve also had the pleasure of working closely with Joe Earley these past few years and can’t imagine a better leader to take the helm of Hulu,” said Paull in a statement.
Earley joins Hulu after joining Disney in January 2019 as executive vice president of marketing and operations. Two years later, he added oversight of global content curation for the service. He replaces Kelly Campbell (no relation to Rebecca), who left Hulu last fall to become president of NBCUniversal-owned Peacock.
Prior to joining Disney Plus, Earley served as president of The Jackal Group, where he oversaw all areas of the studio’s television, film, commercial theater and digital divisions. Prior to that, he served in numerous roles in his two-decade career with Fox, where he last served as chief operating officer of the Fox Television Group.
“I am excited to embark on this new era at Hulu, a streaming pioneer that over the past 15 years has distinguished itself with an unrivaled offering of groundbreaking, award-winning series and films from our talented content partners,” Earley said in a statement. “I have been a longtime Hulu subscriber and fan and have admired the unbridled creativity of the service’s content and culture, and I’m looking forward to the exciting opportunities that lie ahead, collaborating with our content studios, and tapping into the full power and strength of The Walt Disney Company.”