Amazon hired a new head of its entertainment division, tapping the former Hulu CEO who netted the first outstanding-drama Emmy Award from a streaming service. Mike Hopkins, who most recently was chairman of Sony Pictures Television, will oversee Prime Video and Amazon's movie and television studios, the e-commerce giant said Monday. He reports directly to CEO Jeff Bezos.
Hopkins was the head of Hulu for four years starting in 2013 and oversaw its investment in prestige original TV shows like The Handmaid's Tale. Even as streaming's dominant force, Netflix, was raking in nominations, The Handmaid's Tale was the first series from a streaming-service to win the crown-jewel Emmy for best drama.
Amazon's hire comes as established streaming-video operations like Prime Video and Amazon Studios face a new wave of competitors like Disney Plus, Apple TV Plus and HBO Max, all vying to help shape the future of TV.
Prime Video is a bonus perk of a Prime membership, which is Amazon's program best known for accelerated shipping. Prime has more than 150 million members, but it's unclear how many of those actually watch Prime Video. And it's the main distribution platform for Amazon Studios' output, which includes awards catnip like The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and broad-appeal fare like Jack Ryan. On its slate of upcoming titles is a particularly high-profile bet: The company struck a megadeal to adapt The Lord of the Rings for television.
Prime Video is led by Greg Hart, and Amazon Studios is run by a former NBC veteran Jennifer Salke. Both will report to Hopkins.