Nintendo appoints ex-Pokémon boss Tatsumi Kimishima as president after tragic death of Satoru Iwata

Nintendo names Iwata’s successor

Zlata Rodionova
Monday 14 September 2015 11:22 BST
Much-loved characters such as Mario and Luigi have forged the Nintendo brand
Much-loved characters such as Mario and Luigi have forged the Nintendo brand

Nintendo has appointed ex-Pokémon boss Tatsumi Kimishima as its new president following the tragic death of Satoru Iwata in July, the firm said on Monday.

Kimishima comes from a business rather than gaming background, unlike Iwata who was the face of the company for 13 years and famously said in his keynote at the Game Developers Conference in 2005:

"On my business card, I am a corporate president. In my mind, I am a game developer. But in my heart, I am a gamer."

Kimishima previously worked at Pokémon before becoming the CEO of Nintendo America from 2002 and 2006. He notably oversaw the introduction of the Wii console. More recently he was in charge of Nintendo’s Human Resources Division.

He will be the fifth person to hold the post in Nintendo’s 125 years history after Iwata’s death from bile duct cancer earlier this year.

“We aim to strengthen and enhance the management structure of the company following President Satoru Iwata’s passing on July ,” the company said on Monday.

Kimishima will be in charge as representative director as of September 16. He beat a widely-tipped candidate for the job, the Mario creator and acting CEO Shigeru Miyamoto. Miyamoto and fellow CEO Genyo Takeda have been appointed creative fellow and technology fellow, respectively.

His nomination comes as Nintendo is going through a difficult time. Revenue has been falling for six years straight, dropping to 550 billion yen ($4.6 billion) in the 12 months ended March 2015, according to Bloomberg.

The company is also set to release its first game service for smartphones this year, while preparing a new console code-named NX.

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