Joe Earley has been named president, Direct-to-Consumer, Disney Entertainment, effective immediately, it was announced today by Alan Bergman and Dana Walden, co-chairmen, Disney Entertainment. Earley, who most recently served as president of Hulu, will lead Disney Entertainment’s streaming efforts including Disney+ and Hulu, reporting to Bergman and Walden. Earley succeeds Michael Paull, who is leaving the company after six years.
In his new role, Earley will work closely with content teams around the company to continue to expand the company’s streaming efforts and drive impactful and resonant programming and engagement offerings across Disney+ and Hulu. In addition, he will continue leading Hulu until a successor is identified.
“Joe has proven himself to be an extraordinary asset and is uniquely positioned for this role as we guide Disney’s streaming strategy into the future,” Bergman and Walden said. “His vast industry experience and deep understanding of what sets our prestigious portfolio of brands apart will be essential as we build on our robust direct-to-consumer efforts. Joe is a talented, passionate leader, committed to creative excellence, and we look forward to partnering with him in this next chapter.”
“Helping launch Disney+ was a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and Hulu has been inspiring and rewarding,” said Earley. “I’m incredibly grateful to Dana and Alan for their confidence and the opportunity to lead both of these incredible teams during this time of transformation across the streaming landscape.”
Earley joined Disney in January 2019 to oversee Disney+ marketing and operations in the leadup to its hugely successful November launch that year, adding responsibility for content curation in 2021 as the service expanded to dozens of markets worldwide. He was named president of Hulu in January 2022.
Earley previously served as president of The Jackal Group, leading its television, film, commercial theater, and digital divisions, including productions ranging from Tidying Up with Marie Kondo to the MGM animated feature film The Addams Family. He served as a Fox executive for over two decades, including as chief operating officer for Fox Television Group, where he directly oversaw marketing and communications, digital, research, talent relations, scheduling, and audience strategy at Fox Broadcasting Company, and teamed with 20th Century Fox Television’s development, production, business affairs, marketing, and finance leads on strategic initiatives, in addition to overseeing its publicity and talent relations. Having joined Fox in 1994 as a senior publicist, he rose through the ranks at Fox Broadcasting to become president of Marketing & Communications and then its COO. Earley began his entertainment career in production and development with producer Gale Anne Hurd and spent several years in Media Relations at HBO before moving to Fox.
A member of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences and the Producers Guild of America, Earley holds a B.A. in mass communications from UCLA.