Crunchyroll is one of the biggest anime streaming platforms in the world. It has helped the anime world to expand even further by attracting more and more people. The co-founder of Crunchyroll Kun Gao has stepped down from the position of General Manager at Crunchyroll. Now, Joanne Waage, former CEO of Viki, has taken over the role. However, Gao won’t be gone from the company. He will continue to serve as an adviser at Crunchyroll.
Gao will also be a part of the board at Crunchyroll K.K., which is the company’s Japanese branch. He will continue to work on several ongoing projects. Crunchyroll didn’t comment what caused Gao to step down. However, Gao has said that Crunchyroll has a bright future and he has faith in Waage and the rest of the team. They can take it to new heights. Waage had her say on the matter. She said, “We have big plans to create more 360-degree experiences for fans via content, games, merchandise, events, and more.”
Waage became the CEO of Rakuten’s subsidiary streaming platform, Viki, back in March 2017. Crunchyroll was launched back in 2007 as a streaming service. It offered anime titles without authorization. However, in 2008 it secured US$4.05 million in its first-round funding from Venrock. Then it began licensing titles for streaming.
In December 2013, the Chernin Group acquired a majority in Crunchyroll. Crunchyroll has over 2 million paid subscribers, and these numbers will continue to improve.