Decker is exiting the post after more than three years at Sony, originally joining the conglomerate with its 2019 purchase of Funimation. Sony bought Crunchyroll for $1.18 billion in cash from AT&T, and Decker was appointed head of the consolidated anime/manga entertainment group. Last month, Sony announced that the two erstwhile rivals would merge into a single unified Crunchyroll service.
With Decker’s departure, Rahul Purini, Crunchyroll’s COO who was formerly the chief operating officer at Funimation prior to the brand integration, will now lead the company. The management changeover was announced Tuesday in a memo to staff sent by Keith Le Goy, Sony Pictures Entertainment’s president of distribution and networks.
“After more than three years at Sony, Colin Decker has decided to step down from his role as CEO of Crunchyroll, having worked passionately and diligently to bring our anime business to the successful point it is today,” Le Goy wrote. “Colin led our Funimation business to an exponential level of growth and was instrumental in forging a great relationship with our partners at Aniplex. He championed and played a key role in our acquisition of Crunchyroll and has successfully led the integration of the two businesses, unifying them under the Crunchyroll brand.”
In a statement provided by Sony Pictures Entertainment, Decker said: “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.”
Currently, Crunchyroll LLC operates a joint venture between U.S.-based Sony Pictures Entertainment and Japan’s Aniplex, a subsidiary of Sony Music Entertainment (Japan) Inc.
According to Le Goy, the anime business “is stronger than ever and remains a vital part of our overall strategy at SPE and Sony Group. It’s a fan-tastic time for the business and for the growing global anime fan community. We are seeing substantial subscriber growth and are looking forward to some incredible new content coming to the service in the months ahead.”
Decker will remain with Crunchyroll over the next few weeks “to help ensure a smooth transition,” Le Goy added.
Purini commented, “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.”