It was announced today that Crunchyroll’s co-founder, Kun Gao, has stepped down from his role as General Manager. Despite leaving his position, Gao will continue on with the company in a new advisor role as well as a member of the board of directors. Crunchyroll stated that former CEO of Viki, Joanne Waage, will be taking over the position as General Manager.
There are still several ongoing projects that Gao will be a part of so his presence will not be completely vanishing from the company. Gao did not state the reason for him stepping down but he did note that he believes Crunchyroll has a bright future and that he is confident that Joanne Waage will be able to help create that future.
Waage made the following comment:
“We have big plans to create more 360-degree experiences for fans via content, games, merchandise, events, and more.”
The “more 360-degree experiences” eludes to projects beyond the launch of Crunchyroll’s first official program Crunchy Mix, along with their new slogan “Stay Crunchy.” Crunchyroll still has more than 2 million paid subscribers, even post-FUNimation split. We’ve seen Crunchyroll make numerous improvements and additions, including a new higher paid tier with access to light novels, games, and more. It will be interesting to see where Crunchyroll goes from here.