has announced that Brian Mariotti will take a leave of absence and cease serving as Funko’s chief executive officer with full support from the company’s board of directors. Effective immediately, the board of directors appointed director Michael Lunsford as interim chief executive officer and will also commence a thorough search for a new CEO, including internal and external candidates. Mariotti remains a member of the Funko Board of Directors.
“Funko has been my labor of love for nearly two decades,” says Mariotti. “While I’m going to step away from the day-to-day business to recharge my batteries, I plan to stay active on our board. I hope to come back and contribute to Funko again in new creative ways. I look forward to seeing our team and fans at San Diego Comic-Con next week.”
“Brian has been the driving force of Funko for years, and his contributions are found throughout the company’s product and retail innovations,” says Charles Denson, chairman, board of directors, Funko.
Lunsford, who joined the Funko Board of Directors in 2018, previously served as chair, compensation committee and as a member of the audit committee. Lunsford has also stepped in as interim CEO for EarthLink and RealNetworks. This will be the sixth chief executive role for Lunsford.
“Brian and the Funko team have created an iconic and beloved brand, and I am honored to expand my role with the organization in the coming months,” says Lunsford. “In partnership with CFO/COO Steve Nave, president Andrew Perlmutter and the leadership team, we will carefully guide the company’s efforts to grow profitability while continuing to delight our deeply connected fan community. I am very excited to spend time with our fans, employees, investors and partners as we pursue the quest to capture the zeitgeist for pop culture enthusiasts.”
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