Following Hulu massive re-organization of its business announced last month, which saw the departures of three major execs alongside the hires of two new ones, the company is consolidating its operations by shuttering its Marin, Calif. office, the home to Hulu’s client device platform team. Around nine people from the under 20-person team in Marin will not be relocating to a different Hulu location as a result.
The changes were brought about by new CTO Dan Phillips, who recently joined Hulu from TiVo.
In his new role, he decided to further restructure Hulu’s team and operations. Phillips believes it makes more sense to bring together all of Hulu’s engineering and operations into three offices: Seattle, Santa Monica, and Beijing.
The client device platform is a layer across Hulu’s living room devices that allows developers to write code that’s deployed across devices. However, Hulu’s living room team is in Seattle. To better align the two, the client device platform team is making the move to Seattle.
The hope is that by brining the teams closer together, they can better collaborate and work more efficiency resulting in code that’s delivered faster, as well as faster updates to Hulu’s living room product. For example, Hulu plans to soon roll out new living room features around fall TV and sports.
The focus on the living room is of particular concern to Hulu as the company has said that 78 percent of viewing takes place in the living room. Basically, the TV is Hulu’s biggest screen, so it needs to prioritize those efforts.
With the move, around half of Marin’s team is being offered relocation, while around nine employees are being let go as Hulu has resources to cover their roles in Seattle, as well as in Beijing, and Santa Monica.
Hulu doesn’t characterize this as a “layoffs” situation, but rather a consolidation.
The company notes that, as opposed to cutting positions, it’s on track to hire over 200 positions in tech and product alone over the course of the year. That’s not a number it released before, but paints a picture of a company still aggressively hiring.
Unlike with the earlier re-org, none of the nine being let go are top-level execs.
The highest ranking employee leaving following the Marin closure is Hulu VP Julian Eggebrecht, whose role involved device platforms, emerging tech, and virtual and augmented reality.
“We’ve been fortunate to be a part of Hulu these last four years as the company launched its first VR application, entered the live TV business and grew to more than 20 million subscribers,” said Julian Eggebrecht. “I am looking forward to the next chapter and am grateful to all of our teams, both in and outside the US, and to Hulu for this experience,” he said, in a statement about his departure.
Hulu confirmed to us that this doesn’t mean it’s shutting down its VR efforts, but does not those continue to be “experimental” and not the biggest priority.
At this time, there aren’t planned re-orgs of other teams in the works, but that could change in the future.
“As Hulu continues to innovate and scale, it’s essential that we create greater alignment across our teams to deliver the highest quality experience possible to viewers.” said Phillips, in a statement. “Bringing our technology and product teams together into three core offices will help us achieve that. We are grateful to Julian for his leadership and thank the entire Marin team for their tremendous contribution over the past four years,” he added.