min read

Team culture comes first for Viz Media

Viz Media believes the team is what makes the product, so investing in tools that enhance company culture is a simple choice.


Media: Manga film, publication promotion and distribution

No. of people



ADP Workforce Now

Workforce type

HQ staff (hybrid in-person and fully-remote teams)


U.S. based 1 Office in San Francisco

About Viz Media

An international authority on manga for more than three decades, VIZ is proud to be the #1 destination for manga in America and home to some of the most prestigious anime brands driving the industry. Reaching one in four millennials and half of all GenZ manga readers, VIZ is at the forefront of America’s Japanese pop-culture phenomenon.

What’s changing

COVID-19 forced the VIZ team out of their San Francisco office, leading them to embrace a fully-remote approach. The company credits its strong internal relationships and effective communication for having overcome its many challenges to date but for the first time, team members were being onboarded across the country, missing out on the opportunity to get to know their colleagues in person.

These changes were a threat to VIZ’s culture and CEO, Ken Sasaki, was looking for ways to help their teams remain close and connected despite their distance.

What’s Needed

Ken Sasaki, CEO of VIZ Media, enjoyed a successful career as a Management Consultant before helming VIZ and knows the importance of keeping teams connected and communicating. As the custodian of the VIZ Media brand, the VIZ employees, suppliers, customers and shareholders, this challenge was of personal significance.

Working with Connie Wu Stonecypher, Head of HR at VIZ Media, the goal was to keep the spirit of the culture alive—remotely—which would in turn result in the engagement and success the company experienced pre-COVID.

Both Ken and Connie knew that the loyalty and dedication from their employees is tied directly to the culture, vision, and leadership of the company. Ken acknowledges his people are everything and that without the right cohort, VIZ would not be the same successful company it is today.

How Names & Faces is helping

Names & Faces is making an impact by allowing all VIZ employees to have better context and understanding of their colleagues - enabling a similar open, friendly, and curious company culture to the one that existed pre-COVID. Leadership feels less out of touch as fully-remote employees join the ranks, and despite fewer face-to-face encounters, Names & Faces adds a layer of interpersonal understanding across all of the teams at VIZ Media.

Of course, we have great Manga products, but it's the people who have made the products and the company successful. For this to happen we all have to contribute to the culture, starting with me. That's why it's very important for me to know who people are, because I care about my teams and I believe a warm and supportive culture at VIZ is a win for everybody.

Ken Sasaki, CEO, VIZ Media