Jason Kilar

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Jason Kilar
Jason Alan Kilar

(1971-04-26) April 26, 1971 (age 50)
Alma materUniversity of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (BSBA)
Harvard University (MBA)
OccupationCEO of WarnerMedia
Known forFounding CEO of Hulu, founding CEO of Vessel, SVP at Amazon, CEO of WarnerMedia
Board member ofDreamWorks Animation, Wealthfront, Brighter, Univision Communications, Habitat for Humanity
Spouse(s)Jamie Kilar

Jason Alan Kilar (/ˈklər/;[1] born April 26, 1971) is an American businessperson. He became the CEO of WarnerMedia on May 1, 2020.[2] He was previously an Amazon executive and the CEO of Hulu, a joint venture OTT media service currently owned by The Walt Disney Company (67%) and NBCUniversal (33%).

Early life and career[edit]

Jason Alan Kilar was born in Pittsburgh. He graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1993 and continued his education at Harvard Business School, earning an MBA.[3]

On January 4, 2013, he announced his resignation from Hulu after five years, together with Hulu CTO Rich Tom.[4] The next month, Kilar joined the board of directors for DreamWorks Animation.[5]

In 2014, he announced Vessel, a subscription video service, where he was CEO and backed by investment companies Benchmark, Greylock Partners, and Bezos Expedition until the site was eventually sold to Verizon Communications in 2016.[6]

On April 1, 2020, WarnerMedia then-CEO John Stankey announced that Kilar would be assuming the role effective May 1, 2020. Stankey announced that Kilar would be reporting to Stankey, who will remain COO of AT&T.[7] On April 24, 2020, it was announced that Stankey will become the CEO of AT&T on July 1, 2020.[8]

In December 2020, Kilar announced that Warner Bros. films released in 2021 would be released on a streaming service at the same time as they were released in theaters. The prior practice was to release films to theaters for a 90-day period before releasing them in other formats.[9] The move was decried by many in Hollywood, including Christopher Nolan and Denis Villeneuve, while also being described as plainly violating the contractual rights of some of those who worked on the films.[10][11][12] In February 2021, Kilar evoked a possible cinematografic sequel of Harry Potter. In March 2021, Kilar drew more ire by claiming that COVID-19 is "really good for ratings" in conversation with Fox Corporation's Lachlan Murdoch.[13] He later apologized for making this comment and added that "I would like nothing more than for this pandemic to be well behind us".[14]


In 1989, Jason Kilar attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He graduated in 1993 Phi Beta Kappa with a double major in journalism and business administration. Mike Lehr, his former roommate was quoted saying that Kilar was "the triple threat", "smart, creative, and energetic".[15]

Kilar also attended Harvard Business School, entering in the fall of 1995. In his second year at Harvard Business School, Kilar took a class called "Managing in the Marketspace", taught by Jeffrey Rayport. In a class convened at Aldrich Hall, Kilar met Jeff Bezos, and interviewed with Bezos a week after. Kilar has called Bezos the "single greatest business leader of the last hundred years".[16] Kilar's later time at WarnerMedia, however, has involved some unpopular decisions that have caused insiders, including senior management, to question his leadership.[17]


  1. ^ "Vessel Builds its New Video Platform on AWS". Amazon Web Services. April 14, 2015. Retrieved July 22, 2021.
  2. ^ Rodriguez, Ashley. "Meet the 20 most powerful WarnerMedia execs and their top deputies. Here are the leaders helping HBO Max battle Netflix and defining AT&T's TV strategy". Business Insider. Retrieved 2020-11-16.
  3. ^ M.A.S. (2009). Thompson, Clifford (ed.). Current Biography Yearbook. New York, NY: H.W. Wilson Co. pp. 289–92. ISBN 978-0-8242-1104-2.
  4. ^ Kafka, Peter (January 4, 2013). "Let Jason Kilar Take a Bow". All Things D. Retrieved May 14, 2013.
  5. ^ Gardner, Eriq (April 16, 2013). "Lucian Grainge, Former Hulu CEO Jason Kilar Join DreamWorks Animation's Board of Directors". Billboard. Retrieved May 14, 2013.
  6. ^ "Scaling Culture | Jason Kilar, former Hulu CEO". YouTube. Retrieved 2020-04-15.
  7. ^ "Warner Media Shake-Up: Jason Kilar Replaces John Stankey as Chief Executive". New York Times. Retrieved 2020-04-01.
  8. ^ "AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson to step down, COO Stankey to take over". Retrieved 2020-11-16.
  9. ^ Sperling, Nicole (2020-12-13). "WarnerMedia Chief Has Become a Movie Villain to Some in Hollywood". New York Times. Retrieved 2020-12-15.
  10. ^ "Christopher Nolan Rips HBO Max as "Worst Streaming Service," Denounces Warner Bros.' Plan | Hollywood Reporter". www.hollywoodreporter.com. Retrieved 2020-12-31.
  11. ^ Atkinson, Claire. "WarnerMedia's Jason Kilar provokes wrath of Hollywood and cinema owners with move to shift movies to streaming". Business Insider. Retrieved 2020-12-31.
  12. ^ Fleming, Mike Jr. (2020-12-10). "CAA Boss Richard Lovett To WarnerMedia's Jason Kilar Over HBO Max: "Blindside Entirely Unacceptable To CAA And The Clients We Represent"". Deadline. Retrieved 2020-12-31.
  13. ^ Sorkin, Andrew Ross; Karaian, Jason; Hirsch, Lauren; Abdul, Geneva (2021-03-05). "What's Next for Fox and CNN". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2021-03-05.
  14. ^ Montgomery, Blake (2021-03-04). "WarnerMedia CEO Apologizes for Saying the Pandemic Is 'Good for Ratings'". The Daily Beast. Retrieved 2021-04-16.
  15. ^ "Jason Alan Kilar 93 | UNC General Alumni Association". Retrieved 2020-04-15.
  16. ^ "Profile - Entrepreneurship - Harvard Business School". entrepreneurship.hbs.edu. Retrieved 2020-04-15.
  17. ^ Atkinson, Claire. "New WarnerMedia chief Jason Kilar is moving to shake up Hollywood. Insiders are questioning if he has what it takes to turn around the entertainment giant without destroying it". Business Insider. Retrieved 2020-12-31.