Hulu CEO Randy Freer Out, as Disney Looks to Dominate Streaming

Less than a year after Disney took control of Hulu, its chief executive Randy Freer is stepping down in a move aimed at consolidating the streaming services operations with the entertainment giant's direct-to-consumer wing.


"I want to thank Randy for his leadership the last two years as CEO and for his collaboration the past several months to ensure an exceptionally bright future for Hulu," said Kevin Mayer, chairman of Disney's direct-to-consumer & international operations.

Under the move, Mayer said Disney will have Hulu's executive report to its direct-to-consumer and international team allowing the company "more effectively and efficiently deploy resources, rapidly grow our presence outside the U.S."

"With the successful launch of Disney+, we are now focused on the benefits of scale within and across our portfolio of DTC businesses," he said in a statement.

Disney took over control of the Santa Monica-based streaming giant last May after it struck a deal with Comcast to sell its stake by 2024.

Months later, Disney + launched and the entertainment behemoth quickly offered consumers bundled packages with its other brands including the streaming service and ESPN. It's in heated competition with other streaming giants to capture market share and content from across the globe.

Competitor Netflix is producing 130 seasons of local language television this year alone.

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Retail is now live streaming.

Popshop Live, which raised $3 million led by Floodgate and Abstract Ventures, wants users to shop on their phones as if they're browsing through products and interacting with clerks in a store. The live-streaming service takes a new twist on home shopping.

Launched last year by CEO and founder Danielle Li, Popshop Live will use the funds to help build out its audience as the company tries to convince shop owners to set up mini-studios inside their businesses. In all the company has raised $4.5 million.

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Luxury electric carmaker Karma has found a lifeline with $100 million in new funding as the company and its parent look to cash in on the popularity of Tesla in order to raise $300 million, Bloomberg reported.

The Chinese-owned company formerly known as Fisker Automotive has struggled to break out in the capital-intensive world of carmaking. Owned by auto-supplier Wanxiang Group, which bought the company in 2014, Karma is selling stakes to private equity partners, according to the report. By raising cash from U.S. investors, Karma officials aim to reduce Chinese ownership below 50%, making it easier to win government fleet contracts.

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