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Sony Pictures Television Chairman & Former Hulu CEO Leaves to Run Amazon’s Entertainment Unit

Jason Gurwin

Mike Hopkins, Sony Pictures Television Chairman, has left to run Amazon’s Entertainment Unit — the group that oversees Prime Video, as well as Amazon’s movie and television studios. Hopkins served as Hulu’s CEO from 2013-2017, before leaving to take the role at Sony.

In the role, Hopkins will report directly to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, showing the importance of entertainment to the commerce giant. The head of Amazon Studios, Jen Salke, will report into Hopkins. He replaces, Jeff Blackburn, Amazon’s senior VP of Business Development and Digital Entertainment, who is leaving for sabbatical.

While there have never been subscriber numbers shared from Prime Video specifically, Amazon recently announced that there are over 150 million Prime subscribers. In 2018, when the company announced 100 million Prime subscribers, Reuters reported that about a quarter of those used Prime Video.

In an memo sent by Sony, originally obtained by Deadline said:

Good Morning,

I’m writing to make you aware that Mike Hopkins will be leaving Sony Pictures later this month to take on an exciting new challenge overseeing Amazon’s video entertainment businesses – including Prime Video and Amazon Studios, reporting directly to Amazon Chairman and CEO Jeff Bezos. Obviously, this move represents a significant change for our senior leadership team and the studio, but we support Mike’s decision and look forward to the many opportunities to stay connected working together in the future.

I want to thank Mike for his outstanding leadership since arriving at the studio in late 2017. From day one he was charged with rethinking the way we run our television businesses. Under his watch, SPT has been transformed into a stronger and more nimble organization, able to pivot and change course quickly in today’s rapidly evolving entertainment landscape. As part of our “Reimagine” efforts, SPT has undergone essential structural change and realignment – such as combining our networks operations with distribution/home entertainment into a new territory management model and refocusing our network portfolio. Additionally, SPT has made several significant deals on the M&A front and forged new relationships with top creators and talent. These were not small tasks and would not have been possible without the outstanding work of SPT’s excellent divisional leadership and their teams, who will continue to drive our business forward.

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