Roku leadership is experiencing its first big shakeup under new chief Charlie Collier, with current vice president of programming Rob Holmes deciding to depart the company in March after six years, and head of originals, David Eilenberg, being promoted to head of content across all of Roku Media.
A Turner and ITV Studios vet, Eilenberg’s elevation will bring content at Roku Originals and Roku Studios under one leader, and signals Collier’s focus on Roku’s platform advantages and creative as it enters its next stage of evolution as a media company that has racked up WGA, DGA and PGA nominations, as well as its first Critics’ Choice wins, in recent months — but also experienced a severe stock drop on poor earnings results and outlook.
Eilenberg joined Roku in March 2022, coming into his then-role ahead of former Fox Entertainment CEO Collier’s appointment as president of Roku Media last October.
“David is terrific, proven, and well-known across the industry and has been leading the charge at Roku, with his terrific team, to establish The Roku Channel as a destination for both scripted and unscripted original content,” Collier wrote in a Tuesday memo to staff obtained by Variety.
Additionally, “This Old House” vice president Dan Suratt will be exiting Jan. 27, with plans soon to be announced for his next move, and joined by Evan Silverman and Lee Boykoff in his new venture, leaving Michael Burton to lead the “This Old House” teams.
Meanwhile, Roku’s subscriptions team, led by Randy Ahn, will move into the company’s consumer division, with Ahn reporting to vice president of customer strategy and planning Chris Hoerenz. He will continue to manage DTC and premium subscriptions businesses.
In his memo, Collier also notes Roku will be looking to fill a newly created leadership position, vice president, head of content delivery and optimization.
“You’ve already accomplished a great deal and have much to be proud of,” Collier wrote to the Roku team. “We have the technology, tools, and people to differentiate our businesses, and we’re refining our focus and aligning the media and creative teams with shared, externally facing goals. I am confident that audiences, talent, marketers, and partners will feel the difference as we serve them in more cohesive, elevated, and engaging ways.”
See Collier’s memo to staff in full below.
Since I walked into the NY office for the first time on November 1, so much has changed — even literally the office itself. The teams and I have been focused on defining Roku Media and redoubling our efforts to serve the marketplaces that will compound Roku’s success. These markets are comprised of the viewers, partners, advertisers, talent, and colleagues who will help Roku Media scale and elevate our businesses while Roku delivers “better TV for everyone.”
My focus has been, and will continue to be, on shaping a thriving media and entertainment organization atop the world class Roku platform. In doing so, Roku will become known as the best front door to what we have described in advertising conversations as “the streamer’s journey.” Announcing 70 million active accounts at CES was the perfect reminder of our terrific foundation and a proud milestone. With that as our base, Roku Media is just getting started. On the content side, we have great momentum including multiple award wins and nominations announced over the last few weeks (more on that below). In addition, we are now working with top companies, including Fulwell 73 (“The Late Late Show with James Corden,” “The Kardashians”) and Reese Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine (“Big Little Lies,” “Gone Girl,” “The Morning Show,” and Roku’s “Meet Me in Paris”), on ways to develop content that can live inside and elevate our unique pop-cultural touchstone Roku City. More on that and other content innovation to come.
We have opportunities and challenges ahead as we evolve the organization, and we will learn and adjust on the way. In keeping with these goals, I am implementing the following changes across Roku Media.
Rob Holmes, VP, Programming, has decided to leave the company in March. In the meantime, Rob will be working closely with me, focusing on ongoing strategic projects that deserve dedicated care. As many of you know, Rob has been instrumental in Roku’s growth. He led The Roku Channel from concept to launch including hiring an awesome team, evangelizing about Roku and TRC to early content partners, moving Roku into Originals and setting a great foundation for future growth, with the channel still delivering record numbers and growing. He’s a partner and friend to many of us, and to be clear, this announcement is by no means Rob’s final send-off; there will be more on Rob and his many contributions in the days ahead. For now, I will simply say thank you.
With Rob’s transition, I am happy to announce that David Eilenberg will report directly to me in an expanded role as VP, Head of Content for Roku Media, bringing content across Roku Originals and Roku Studios under one leader. David is terrific, proven, and well-known across the industry and has been leading the charge at Roku, with his terrific team, to establish The Roku Channel as a destination for both scripted and unscripted original content. David and his team are coming off weeks of recognition, including WGA, DGA, and PGA nominations and Roku’s first Critics Choice Awards for “Weird.” I look forward to working with him in this new capacity.
Below are some additional changes across the Roku Media team to share:
· In addition to David, we will be adding a new role, VP, Head of Content Delivery and Optimization, to my leadership team.
· Dan Suratt, VP, This Old House (TOH), will be leaving Roku on January 27 for a new opportunity, which will be announced shortly. Dan came to Roku in March 2021 through the acquisition of This Old House Ventures. He has been instrumental in bringing new and exciting content to Roku, including “The Rich Eisen Show,” our partnerships with Martha Stewart and Emeril Lagasse, and in expanding the production of our Roku Studios team with “Idea House” and “Team Rubicon”. Evan Silverman and Lee Boykoff will be joining Dan in his new venture. Michael Burton, who successfully leads the Concord production group, will lead the TOH teams, now reporting into David Eilenberg. Thanks to all for your many contributions.
· As we continue to focus on enhancing our consumer experience and driving long-term value and CLV, the Subscriptions team, led by Randy Ahn, will move into the Consumer organization. Randy will report to Chris Hoerenz, VP, Customer Strategy & Planning, and continue to manage the business for both D2C and Premium Subscriptions in TRC. By aligning our subscription team more closely with other teams across Consumer, we will accelerate growth and unify the subscription experience across the platform. We look forward to continuing to work closely with Randy and his team.
You’ve already accomplished a great deal and have much to be proud of. We have the technology, tools, and people to differentiate our businesses, and we’re refining our focus and aligning the media and creative teams with shared, externally facing goals. I am confident that audiences, talent, marketers, and partners will feel the difference as we serve them in more cohesive, elevated, and engaging ways.
Please join me in thanking Rob, congratulating David on his expanded role, wishing Randy and his team continued success, and saying goodbye and well done to Dan, Evan, and Lee.
There’s so much ahead for Roku Media, and I look forward to crafting, with you, many shared successes.
Best to all,
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