Despite the fact that Nintendo has returned to profitability, things have been a bit rough for the company lately. Satoru Iwata, who had been serving as the company’s president since 2002, passed away unexpectedly back in July, with game producer Shigeru Miyamoto and Wii architect Genyo Takeda filling in ever since.
Today, Nintendo announced Iwata’s successor as company president, Tatsumi Kimishima. Kimishima previously served with Nintendo’s human resources division, as well as a managing director. It’s part of an overall corporate restructuring which will “strengthen and enhance the management structure of the company,” according to a press release posted earlier today.
Kimishima has plenty of experience with the role, originally serving as president of Nintendo of America from 2002-2006 before Reggie Fils-Aime filled the role. He also worked as the CFO for the Pokémon Company, and had a presence in various Nintendo Direct broadcasts over the years. Whether he will have a presence in future videos like Iwata had with his many appearances is not yet known.
Miyamoto and Takeda will continue to play strong roles in the company, with their new roles of “Creative Fellow” and “Technology Fellow” noted in the press release. Even though the names sound casual, Nintendo indicated that a “fellow” is “an individual selected from among the Representative Directors who has advanced knowledge and extensive experience, and holds the role of providing advice and guidance regarding organizational operations in a specialized area.”
These changes are crucial ones for the company, as Nintendo attempts to both enter the mobile market (in its partnership with DeNA) and introduce its new NX hardware next year, which is likely to get its worldwide debut at the next Electronic Entertainment Expo event in Los Angeles.
In the meantime, Nintendo is preparing for a strong line-of up games that will include a number of franchise favorites in new adventures, including the user-friendly Super Mario Maker that just released last week, along with the forthcoming StarFox Zero for Wii U, The Legend of Zelda: Triforce Heroes for Nintendo 3DS, and fan favorite Xenoblade Chronicles X for Wii U, all set to arrive in time for the bustling holiday season.
Kimishima’s appointment, in the eyes of many analysts, seems to reflect a desire to move forward along the company’s current path with an experienced hand at the tiller. This is not someone likely to take bold new directions, but rather someone that can ably execute the strategy the company’s executives have collectively put together over the last year or two. The next year should be very interesting for Nintendo as its major new initiatives begin to appear, and we see how they are received in the marketplace.
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