Roku Hires Another Ex-Quibi Employee as It Gears Up to Launch Quibi Shows

Todd Spangler
·2-min read

Roku has recruited another former employee from Quibi, the now-defunct mobile streaming subscription startup that closed its doors in 2020 just six months after launching.

Lisa Flores, previously marketing lead at Quibi, is now overseeing social media for The Roku Channel, the company’s streaming service that aggregates free, ad-supported and subscription content. She came on board earlier this month, joining the company after Roku inked a deal to acquire global rights to more than 75 original shows from Quibi, the startup headed by Jeffrey Katzenberg and Meg Whitman. Roku plans to stream the Quibi shows for free on the Roku Channel beginning sometime in 2021, but so far hasn’t provided a launch date.

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In addition to Flores, several other ex-Quibians have also landed at Roku. Those include Brian Tannenbaum, who oversees unscripted content for The Roku Channel; Colin Davis, lead for The Roku Channel’s scripted content; Ryan Bocskay, business affairs lead for production; and Luis Gomm Santos, content acquisition associate.

“Quibi built a talented team to support the development of really fantastic programming,” a Roku spokesperson said in a statement to Variety. “We were thrilled to welcome a number of them to the Roku team in recent weeks and their deep expertise will help ensure the successful launch and growth of the Quibi content on The Roku Channel.”

As part of the deal with Quibi, Roku obtained access to the startup’s social accounts. On Twitter, Roku recently converted the @Quibi handle to @TheRokuChannel. This week, Flores posted a Roku job listing on LinkedIn for a social media marketing manager, saying, “come join me on The Roku Channel’s social media team!”

Roku makes virtually all its operating margin from ad sales and subscription-revenue splits from partners. In recent months, it has been increasingly focused on investing in The Roku Channel, which the company said more than doubled its U.S. audience to 63 million in the fourth quarter. On Friday, the Roku Channel premiered its first exclusive series, crime thriller “Cypher.”

Prior to Quibi, which Flores joined in mid-2020, she worked for Uber. Before that she was in the entertainment industry working on digital and social marketing campaigns for an array of films, including five years at Paramount Pictures. Flores also recently served as a consultant for the Sundance Institute overseeing social strategy for the 2021 Sundance Film Festival.

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