File photo: Jason Kilar, then-CEO of Hulu LLC.
Kimimasa Mayama | Bloomberg | Getty Images
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.
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.