Former WotC President, Cynthia Williams, joins Funko as CEO

IMG: Hasbro

Funko, Inc., a leading pop culture lifestyle brand, today announced that its Board of Directors has appointed Cynthia Williams as its Chief Executive Officer (CEO), effective May 20, 2024.

Williams is also expected to join the Funko Board of Directors on that date. Michael Lunsford will remain the company’s Interim CEO until Ms. Williams joins the company in May.

Williams will bring nearly two decades of senior leadership experience across the consumer products, gaming and e-commerce industries. Most recently, Williams served as president of Hasbro’s Wizards of the Coast and Hasbro Gaming division, where she oversaw the company’s portfolio of games that includes Dungeons & Dragons, Magic: The Gathering, and Monopoly. During her tenure at Hasbro, Williams successfully scaled areas of growth and positioned the Gaming division for continued success amid evolving consumer demand. Prior to that, Williams spent several years at Microsoft, most recently as General Manager and Vice President, Gaming Ecosystem Commercial Team, where she drove the significant expansion of Xbox Gaming. Earlier, Williams was a senior executive at Amazon for over a decade, where she played a key role in the global growth of their e-commerce direct-to-consumer business, Fulfillment by Amazon.

“After a thorough and comprehensive search process, we are thrilled to welcome Cynthia as our CEO,” said Jesse Jacobs, chairman of Funko’s nominating and corporate governance committee and a partner and co-founder at The Chernin Group, which owns approximately 25% of Funko’s common stock. “Cynthia has served in a variety of senior leadership roles with some of the largest and most well-respected companies in the world. She has a deep understanding of pop culture, entertainment and fandoms, with a proven background in building consumer brands, developing worldwide strategies and driving global growth. We are confident Cynthia has the experience, leadership capabilities and strategic vision to guide Funko into the future.”

“We thank Mike for his many contributions,” said Charles Denson, Funko’s Chairman. “Under his leadership, Funko has refocused its business on core assets, lowered its debt levels and substantially improved margins. With Funko now on a solid foundation, Cynthia will come in and drive the company to the next phase of growth and profitability. I know Cynthia is the right choice to lead Funko going forward and we know Mike and Cynthia together will ensure a seamless transition for all our stakeholders.”

“I am honored to lead Funko, a company celebrated for its history of creativity and innovation on behalf of a passionate fan base,” said Williams. “Funko has built a portfolio of valuable global brands, and I am energized about this unique opportunity to help Funko fully realize its potential. My extensive experience with the devoted fans of Dungeons & Dragons, Magic: The Gathering, and Xbox will be highly beneficial in developing products that continue to appeal to Funko’s passionate fans, both core fans and collectors. I’m eager to work with the Board, management team and our employees around the world to further strengthen our brands and deliver value to our stockholders.”

The CEO search process was led by True Search, a global executive recruiting firm.

Barry White

Barry White is a longtime Magic: The Gathering player, having started in 1994 shortly before the release of 'Fallen Empires.' After graduating from the University of Nevada, Reno, he went on to a 15-year journalism career as a writer, reporter, and videographer for three different ABC affiliate newsrooms.