The Real Reason Mike Hopkins Quit as Hulu CEO

Mike Hopkins used to be the CEO of Hulu. However, news came out in late October that he would be leaving Hulu for Sony Pictures Television, where he would become its Chairman. Meanwhile, Hopkins has been replaced in his previous position by Randy Freer, who is like Hopkins in that he used to be at the Fox Networks Group.

Why Did Mike Hopkins Leave Hulu for Sony Pictures Television?

Regardless, the most interesting part is not the fact that Hopkins is leaving Hulu for Sony Pictures Television so much as the exact reason behind the move. Simply put, there is not a lot of information about what is happening behind the scenes, meaning that there has been a fair amount of speculation from interested individuals. So far, a number of theories have prove to be more popular than the others, though none of them has been confirmed at this point in time.

One line of speculation is that Hopkins is heading over to Sony Pictures Television because he wants a new challenge. Simply put, Sony Pictures Television was hit hard by the hack that happened in 2014, with the result that it still has not managed to make a full recovery. Even worse, it is struggling with a number of other serious problems, with examples ranging from its lesser success in selling new TV shows compared to other important studios to its inability to pursue vertical integration at a time when the entire industry looks like it is going in that particular direction. In contrast, Hopkins seems to be leaving Hulu in an excellent position, seeing as how it has just managed to claim a Best Drama Emmy for The Handmaid’s Tale, which is a landmark win for not just Hulu but also other streaming services.

For proof of the sheer range of theories that are been discussed, look no further than the fact that another line of speculation is that Hopkins is getting out of Hulu while it is still looking good. According to this particular chain of reasoning, while Hulu looks like it is in a solid position, it has serious long-term problems that it will struggle to overcome. For example, Hulu has no real international presence, meaning that there is a serious limitation to its potential expansion. Even worse, both Amazon and Netflix have a presence in other countries situated all around the world, meaning that even if Hulu gets into that particular game, it is going to face an uphill struggle all the way against established and entrenched competitors.

Furthermore, Hulu is going to get squeezed by the various media companies that are now launching new streaming services for their own content. It has a number of partnerships with a number of media companies, but the problem is that those partnerships are nothing more than partnerships, meaning that Hulu cannot hope to get a full support from them in the way that, say, CBS All Access can get full support from CBS. As a result, while Hulu looks fine, looks can be deceiving.

Of course, these are far from being the only theories about why Hopkins is leaving Hulu for Sony Pictures Television. However, there is no way to tell which one is right for the time being, meaning that interested individuals will have to wait for more information to come out as thing continue to happen before speculating further on the matter.

Photo by Rob Latour/REX/Shutterstock

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