Sony Pictures Entertainment revealed on Tuesday that Crunchyroll‘s chief executive officer Colin Decker is leaving the company. Crunchyroll‘s chief operating officer and Funimation‘s longtime COO Rahul Purini will become the company’s new CEO. Decker will remain with the company for a few weeks during the transition.
As COO, Purini spearheaded Crunchyroll‘s strategic day-to-day operations, including e-Commerce, production studios, content programming, business intelligence, analytics, and other functions. Purini joined Funimation in 2015 and has led the company’s growth in global expansion and subscription base. He previously served as vice president of solution delivery at global digital agency Razorfish. He was also head of technology and operations for digital agency MEplusYOU (formerly imc2). Purini has earned industry awards from Forrestor and Forbes for his team’s work at Pizza Hut, Procter & Gamble, and GlaxoSmithKline.
Purini stated, “It is an honor and a privilege for me to take on this new role, and to drive the next chapter of Crunchyroll forward. Having spent the last seven years involved in nearly every facet of the business, and seeing how far we’ve come – the opportunity ahead is bright, and I look forward to what we will do together next. There are so many things that excite me about this new role, but the one part that stands out is our clear opportunity: to accelerate the growth, size, and love of anime around the world by putting fans and community first and by helping everyone belong.”
Decker became Funimation‘s new general manager in May 2019. He worked to collaborate with the other anime businesses within Sony, including Sony Music Entertainment‘s Aniplex subsidiary and Sony Pictures Entertainment‘s Animax anime channel. He served as CEO of Crunchyroll when Sony‘s Funimation Global Group completed its acquisition of the company.
Decker previously worked in Crunchyroll as chief operating officer and then in Within Unlimited as chief operating officer, before joining Funimation. Before Crunchyroll, Decker was the general manager of Discovery Digital Networks.
Colin Decker said to the company, “Working alongside you has been an honor, and a privilege. Because of your dedication, resilience, and belief, we have realized what seemed impossible just a few years ago.”
Funimation and Crunchyroll announced on March 1 that Funimation and Wakanim‘s anime library and simulcast content have moved to Crunchyroll. Sony‘s Funimation Global Group completed its acquisition of Crunchyroll from AT&T on August 9 last year. The purchase price was US$1.175 billion, and the proceeds were paid in cash at closing.
Funimation‘s home video releases are also becoming listed under Crunchyroll.
Crunchyroll and Funimation first announced the acquisition in December 2020 with a purchase price of US$1.175 billion. The technology website The Information reported in August 2020 that AT&T offered Crunchyroll to Sony for US$1.5 billion and that Sony reportedly “balked at” the price, which effectively valued the streaming service at US$500 per subscriber. Entertainment news source Variety reported that AT&T was shopping the company to multiple potential buyers aside from Sony Pictures Entertainment at that time. Nikkei Asia later reported that October that Sony was in final negotiations for the Crunchyroll acquisition. At that time, the newspaper reported that Sony “could end up spending more than 100 billion yen ($957 million).”
Source: Email correspondence