After Merging with North Texas’ Funimation, Anime Streaming Platform Crunchyroll Names New Dallas Exec

Sony finalized its nearly $1.2 billion acquisition of anime platform Crunchyroll from Dallas-based AT&T last August. Now, with Crunchyroll's production hub in DFW, it's named a new chief people officer to help guide the company on its "next phase of growth."

“We want to provide our fans with anime when, where, and how they want to enjoy it,” new exec Barb Bidan told Dallas Innovates.

After merging with Coppell-based Funimation, Crunchyroll says it’s in “hyper-growth” mode. And it’s fueling that growth with a new local exec.

The Sony-owned streaming platform, which has its production hub in North Texas, has tapped Barb Bidan as its new chief people officer, who will help oversee the company’s global team as it embarks on its “next phase of growth.”

“We want to provide our fans with anime when, where, and how they want to enjoy it,” Bidan told Dallas Innovates.

Crunchyroll looks to add 100 employees globally

Barb Bidan

Bidan joined Crunchyroll, which has 15 offices globally, this month. Prior to joining the company, Bidan held a similar role at Colorado aerospace company Boom Supersonic. According to her LinkedIn page, Bidan also serves as an advisor to startups and venture capital firms.

Bidan joins the more than 1,000-person company amid what it calls “booming” demand for anime content. Crunchyroll says it currently has more than 100 open positions, including local roles in areas like product design, software engineering, application development, and accounting.

“Crunchyroll has experts in many offices, but DFW is known as our production hub, with brand new studios to house our stellar dubbing prowess,” Bidan said. “We’re a truly global company, which allows us the flexibility to hire for a variety of roles in our DFW location.”

Sony acquired Crunchyroll from AT&T for nearly $1.8 billion

The announcement comes after Sony merged Coppell anime dubbing and distribution company Funimation—along with Funimation subsidiary Wakanim—with Crunchyroll earlier this year, creating what it calls the “world’s largest anime content library.”

New York Stock Exchange-traded Sony acquired a 95% stake in Funimation in a deal that valued the local company at around $150 million in 2017. After announcing plans in late 2020, Sony finalized its nearly $1.2 billion acquisition of Crunchyroll from Dallas-based AT&T last August.

Crunchyroll has more than 1,000 titles in its library. As of last August, the company said it reached the 5 million-subscriber milestone.

In April, Crunchyroll CEO Colin Decker resigned. He was replaced as CEO by Rahul Purini, who formerly served as Crunchyroll’s chief operating officer—a similar role to the one he held at Funimation.  

“Anime continues to grow, and we’re certainly seeing lots of appetite for anime both among avid fans and those dipping their toes into the medium,” Bidan said. “We’re continuing to grow just as fast as anime does.”

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