Former Yahoo Exec and Lucasfilm Alum Tapped by Crunchyroll to Head Events, Marketing

Julia Renda and Mary Franklin join Crunchroll’s executive team

Anime-centric streaming service Crunchyroll announced two new hires Wednesday morning, as the streamer looks to expand its events and marketing strategy.

The company instated Lucasfilm alumni Mary Franklin as the platform’s head of events and former Yahoo! executive Julia Renda as head of marketing. Franklin started with the company in February, while Renda started in January.

In the new role, Franklin is tasked with strengthening the company’s events business. Coming from ReedPOP and Lucasfilm, she has helped produce international events and major fan conferences and will use that experience to help grow the company’s annual Crunchyroll Expo.

Meanwhile, Renda will oversee marketing strategy, partnerships, audience development, brand strategy and customer acquisition and retention for Crunchyroll. She is tasked with engaging and growing the Crunchyroll community, which stands at over 30 million followers across the company’s social channels. Prior to her new role, Renda led marketing for Yahoo! View, the company’s VOD service, and served as head of marketing for Polyvore, a social commerce website that was acquired by Yahoo! in 2015.

“Joining us from ReedPOP and Lucasfilm, Mary built and ran Comic Cons and ‘Star Wars’ Celebrations globally,” said Crunchyroll GM Joanne Waage in a statement. “Who better to take Crunchyroll Expo to the next level? At Yahoo!, Julia led marketing for Yahoo! View, their streaming video service and built Polyvore into a world class brand. She’ll now put her strength in brand and marketing to work for Crunchyroll and our content partners.”

“Delivering unforgettable experiences for fan communities is something I care deeply about,” Franklin said in a statement. “Crunchyroll delivers exceptional content and events for their fans, and I’m excited to be a part of this creative and passionate team.”

“Crunchyroll is the world’s leader in anime, and the platform has such an incredible, deep connection to their fans,” Renda added. “I’m excited to be a part of the Crunchyroll team as we create new ways to serve our community of fans.”

With more than 1,000 anime titles, Crunchyroll is the largest anime-centric SVOD service currently on the market. Owned by Otter Media, which falls under AT&T’s WarnerMedia umbrella, the service boasts more than 45 million registered users and 2 million paying subscribers. Over the past several years, the company has expanded its offering to include live events, video games, and e-commerce.

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