The Funko board of directors has announced that Brian Mariotti will take a leave of absence and cease serving as the company’s CEO.
Funko has confirmed that, effective immediately, the board has appointed director Michael Lunsford as interim CEO. The company will also commence a thorough search for a new CEO.
Brian Mariotti remains a member of the Funko board of directors. “Funko has been my labour of love for nearly two decades,” he said. “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.”
“Brian has been the driving force of Funko for years and his contributions are found throughout the company’s product and retail innovations,” commented chairman Charles Denson. “I am thrilled that Mike can seamlessly step in, while Brian takes some time. We will continue evolving this fan-first brand for the future in a creative and meaningful way.”
Mike Lunsford joined the Funko board of directors in 2018, and previously served as chair of the Compensation Committee and as a member of the Audit Committee. This will be his sixth chief executive role.
“Brian and the Funko team have created an iconic and beloved brand, and I am honoured to expand my role with the organization in the coming months,” Mike said. “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.”
Brian Mariotti returned to the role of Funko CEO last year, having moved to the role of chief creative officer. At the time, the company said the board was ‘taking swift and decisive action to strengthen operations and drive improved results for stockholders.’