David Eilenberg, who joined Roku last April to head up original programming at the streaming company, has been upped to head of content, Deadline has confirmed.
Eilenberg is well-known in creative circles, having been an exec at ITV, Turner and Mark Burnett’s company during the course of his career. With his elevation, VP of Programming Rob Holmes, who had been with the company for about six years and steered initiatives like the launch of the Roku Channel and the acquisition of programming from Quibi, has exited the company.
The moves are the first significant ones in the executive suite since former Fox and AMC Networks exec Charlie Collier arrived last year as president of Roku Media.
Eilenberg’s elevation will bring content at Roku Originals and Roku Studios under one leader. Roku as a company is confronting a choppy ad market and financial pressure on its efforts to ramp up its original content. Last November, it said it would cut 200 jobs, or about 7% of its workforce. While Roku remains a major streaming gatekeeper in the U.S., a number of key investors and influential voices on Wall Street have voiced skepticism about the company’s prospects. Its stock, which was a pandemic darling as streaming boomed across the board, plummeted more than 80% in 2022.
Unlike rivals in subscription streaming, Roku makes its own content available for free. It has positioned the Roku Channel, a hub for on-demand film and TV titles as well as FAST channels, at the center of its content efforts and looked to advertising to provide a majority of its revenue. While the number is a fraction of what Netflix and other SVOD players are spending, reports that Roku was on track to lay out $1 billion on content last year gained considerable attention. At CES earlier this month, though, Roku said it had reached 70 million active accounts by the end of last year, with total hours of streaming rising 19% over 2021.
Holmes joined Roku in 2017 after working in advanced advertising for Comcast as well as strategic planning and development for NBCUniversal.
Lynette Rice contributed to this report.
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