Former WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar joins Roblox's board

Former WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar has joined the board of directors at the online gaming platform company Roblox. The appointment, which was effective as of September 13, will see Kilar joining board chairman and Roblox CEO David Baszucki, as well as lead independent director Anthony P. Lee, and board members Gregory Baszucki, Christopher Carvalho, Gina Mastantuono and Andrea Wong.

The appointment signals Roblox’s interest in expanding beyond gaming to be more of a general entertainment platform, given Kilar’s prior experience as a chief executive at media and entertainment companies for over 15 years, most recently as CEO of WarnerMedia. Prior to this, Kilar was the co-founder and CEO of the subscription video service Vessel, acquired by Verizon in 2016. He also helped co-found and served as the CEO of Hulu, before announcing his resignation in 2013 when he then joined the board of directors at DreamWorks Animation.

Currently, Kilar serves on the board at Wealthfront Inc. and Opendoor Technologies Inc. The executive also holds a BA in journalism and business administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and an MBA. from Harvard Business School, Roblox’s announcement states.

The addition comes at a time when Roblox’s user base is aging up and the company is looking to cater to its slightly older demographic with new experiences.

At its annual developer conference, the company recently announced its plans to offer avatar-based voice calls, as part of its broader initiative to cater to users 17 and up. During the conference’s keynote, Roblox CEO David Baszucki also suggested that thousands of adults would eventually meet and form real-life relationships through Roblox over the next five years.

The company additionally envisions a future where users could leverage generative AI tools to make avatars or their clothing using text prompts. And the app is gaining traction in the VR world, where its Meta Quest VR app has topped 1 million downloads.

Roblox today has 66 million daily active users, and noted its above-17 group comprised around 40% of its daily active user base as of last year. The company aims to cater to this group with virtual worlds that contain more violence, romance, crude humor, depictions of gambling and alcohol, it said. This would stretch Roblox into more of a media and entertainment business, perhaps, than its more kid-friendly games do — like those where you make pizzas, build theme parks, play pretend or move through obstacle courses (aka obbys), or adopt adorable pets.

Kilar’s experience could benefit the company in those endeavors, as well as the challenges that arise from catering to different audience demographics from a single platform.

“Jason Kilar is a well-respected leader in the entertainment and media industry, and his experience in the space is of value to the Board as Roblox continues to scale globally,” said Roblox CEO David Baszucki, in a statement.

“I am honored to join Roblox, a company I have long admired and cheered from afar as they leaned into the future,” noted Jason Kilar. “Roblox is changing the way people come together and changing how creators can create delightful experiences for them. I am excited to join the board and do all I can to help bring Roblox’s vision to life.”

On X, Kilar’s news solicited a number of congratulations, including from analysts, investors and media, as well as Spotify CEO Daniel Ek, who dubbed the move “A great combo!”

Source link