After the untimely passing of longtime president Satoru Iwata, Nintendo has finally named his replacement. The job will be taken by Tatsumi Kimishima and will be effective on Wednesday. Kimishima has served as Nintendo’s managing director for two years, in charge of the Human Resources department at the company. Before that, he served as the CEO of Nintendo of America for seven years.
Perhaps the biggest question in the mind of gamers is if this new appointment will mean Nintendo is going to go in an entirely different direction than the plans Iwata had laid out. In a statement released to the press, Kimishima assured fans and critics that he will continue to follow Iwata’s vision for the company.
The basic direction and strategy won’t change. I will continue along the path set by President Iwata.
Of course, Kimishima and Iwata’s background differ highly. While Iwata came from the programming and game development side of the company, Kimishima’s focus and experience has been mostly on the financial side of things, as he worked at a Japanese bank for 25 years before working for Nintendo.
Aside from this new appointment as president, both Shigeru Miyamoto and Genyo Takeda have new titles as well. Shigeru Miyamoto is simply being referred to as the “Creative Fellow”, a title that encompasses his position as the general manager of the Entertainment Analysis & Development team at Nintendo. The same cheeky title has been given to Takeda, who is now known as the “Technology Fellow”, rather than the general manager at the Integrated Research & Development division.
To put that into layman’s terms, it now means that Miyamoto is free to work on software, Takeda is free to work on new hardware, and all the administrative aspects of running the company will be handled through Kimishima, rather than having those duties foisted on two of Nintendo’s greatest creative minds.
We thought it’s better that Takeda and Miyamoto manage hardware and software, and I control administration,” said Kimishima. He added that this arrangement is meant “to bring up the next-generation executives of Nintendo.
What do you think of the news? Given Kimishima’s background in financials, we don’t expect him to take a public face and give presentations, similar to what Iwata did with the Nintendo Directs. That does leave the question open as to who will do those presentations now with Iwata gone. Who would you like to see fill that role?
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