Sony's Anime Distributor Funimation Names General Manager

My Hero Academia - H 2016

Colin Decker, a former executive at rival Crunchyroll, takes over the role vacated by founder Gen Fukunaga.

Sony Corp.'s Sony Pictures Entertainment said Tuesday that Funimation, the anime distribution and network subsidiary of Sony Pictures Television (SPT), will be led by Colin Decker as general manager.

Funimation was founded 25 years ago by Japan-born Gen Fukunaga, who stepped down as CEO earlier this year to take on a chairman role. Fukunaga retains a 5 percent stake in the company, with the rest acquired by Sony at the end of 2017.

Decker and Fukunaga will report to Mike Hopkins, chairman of SPT.

"Adding Colin’s leadership, experience in emerging media and proven track record of success to the mix is an exciting next step for Funimation," said Hopkins. "I also want to personally thank Gen, who is widely regarded as the dean of anime in the U.S., for his stewardship of Funimation since Sony's acquisition and his willingness to guide us through this period of transition in his new role as chairman."

Said Decker: "Funimation has been a market leader for over two decades, growing anime from a small community of dedicated fans into the global phenomenon that it is today."

The FunimationNow streaming service has doubled its subscriber numbers since the Sony acquisition, according to the company, which said the new management team will be aiming to promote cooperation with the other Sony anime platforms, Animax and Aniplex.

Decker has previously worked in a number of entertainment businesses, including a stint as chief operating officer at Crunchyroll, a major rival to Funimation.

In December, Funimation announced a partnership with Hulu to bring its content, including Attack on Titan and My Hero Academia, to the streamer.