After three years at Sony, Colin Decker is stepping down as CEO of Crunchyroll, with longtime Funimation executive Rahul Purini set to lead the anime brand as president.
The transition occurs as Crunchyroll and Funimation continue to integrate their operations. AT&T sold Crunchyroll to Sony last year for $1.175 billion, and the two anime operations have joined forces in recent months.
Purini served as COO of Crunchyroll after holding the same title at Funimation.
Keith Le Goy, president of distribution and networks for Sony Pictures Entertainment, confirmed the decision in a memo to employees. (Read it in full below.) Decker “defended and played a key role in our acquisition of Crunchyroll,” Le Goy wrote.
“It is an honor and a privilege for me to take on this new role and drive the next chapter of Crunchyroll forward,” Purini said in a statement provided to Deadline. “Having spent the last seven years involved in almost every aspect of the business and seeing how far we’ve come, the opportunity before us is brilliant and I can’t wait to see what we do together next.”
Decker hailed the anime brand troops. “Thanks to your dedication, resilience and conviction, we have achieved what seemed impossible just a few years ago,” he said.
The anime business is targeted but lucrative. Fans of the genre are often willing to spend not only on screen deals, but also on merchandise and other exclusives related to their favorite properties. Just before the merger closed last summer, Crunchyroll said it surpassed 5 million streaming subscribers.
Here is Le Goy’s full memo:
I am writing to share important news regarding changes to our Crunchyroll leadership team.
After more than three years at Sony, Colin Decker has decided to step down from his role as CEO of Crunchyroll, having worked with passion and diligence to bring our anime business to the point of success it is today. Colin has driven our Funimation business to an exponential level of growth and has been instrumental in building a great relationship with our partners at Aniplex. He championed and played a key role in our acquisition of Crunchyroll and successfully led the integration of the two companies, unifying them under the Crunchyroll brand.
With Colin’s departure, Rahul Purini will assume corporate oversight as President of Crunchyroll. As the longtime COO of Funimation and Crunchyroll, Rahul has been instrumental in the company’s global and subscription growth as a key member of the leadership teams for the past seven years. He expertly led day-to-day strategic operations, global commerce, our production studios, content programming, and business intelligence and analytics functions. I’m confident that Rahul will be successful in bringing Crunchyroll into its next exciting chapter.
Our anime business is stronger than ever and remains an essential part of our overall strategy at SPE and Sony Group. It’s a fantastic time for the company and for the growing global community of anime fans. We’re seeing substantial subscriber growth and look forward to some amazing new content coming to the service in the months ahead. Unification is well underway and going even better than expected, and we’re really excited about the growth opportunities in manga, e-commerce, and mobile games. Not to mention the recent box office success of Jujutsu Kaisen 0which grossed $34 million in the United States and is the 4th highest-grossing animated film in US box office history.
Colin will be staying with us over the next few weeks to help ensure a smooth transition. In the meantime, please join me in thanking Colin for his many contributions and wishing him the best for the future.