Hulu CEO Jason Kilar may be leaving the company as early as September, according to a leaked memo dated in July.
The memo, which was obtained by Variety, outlines the company's future plans in three pages of bullet points. The top of these reads, "Outline transition plan for new CEO. Discuss potential candidates and process."
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As Variety notes, the bullets don't definitely mean that Kilar is scheduled to exit the company -- it could be a contingency plan. Kilar and other employees, who together own 10% of the company, will be eligible to cash out of their shares in September as News Corp. and Disney up their stakes in the company. A much-richer Kilar -- Variety reports he may be up for as much as $100 million in the buyout -- may not have much of an incentive to stay.
That, and the fact that Kilar's ambitions for the company are about to be curtailed. According to Variety, the memo proposes the elimination of content exclusivity on Hulu. In the future, Hulu may no longer have co-exclusive distribution rights to current-season content -- instead, Disney and News Corp. could license their shows to third parties, like Netflix and YouTube, which would make its service less competitive. Hulu could also lose rights to distribute everything that appears on ABC.com and Fox.com, allowing those websites to keep some exclusive content of their own.
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Its international expansion plans are also likely to be scaled back. So far, Hulu has only launched internationally in Japan, but the memo notes the company also has plans to launch in Australia and India. "Both [parties] make clear they have no interest in funding a proposed expansion to India," Variety reports.
Kilar isn't the only talent loss that could be coming to Hulu this fall: All of the employees eligible to cash out could also be heading to the exit.
What we're likely to see, then, is a rather weakened Hulu by the end of 2012. As AllThingsD's Peter Kafka notes, Disney and News Corp. have been trying to steer Hulu in this direction for some time. "Its owners are happy to use it as a subscription service, if it generates ancillary revenue for them. But they’re not interested in using it as a free service that competes with their other properties -- or, most importantly, one that threatens their ability to get license fees," he writes.
Hulu did not respond to a request for comment.
This story originally published on Mashable here.