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After the passing of the late Satoru Iwata, there were rumours abound that Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto would become Nintendo president, after he and Genyo Takeda held a caretaker-president role in Iwata’s stead. But the company today announced its new president, and we don’t think anyone foresaw the decision.
Tatsumi Kimishima isn’t a household name, and many probably wouldn’t recognise him but he’s been an integral part in Nintendo’s backroom staff since 2000. In 2002, he was appointed as head of The Pokemon Company and soon after that, was elected Director of Nintendo of America, a post which he has held until today.
Kimishima, as a previous managing director of the company’s human resources division, probably knows all about Nintendo’s nooks and crannies, and his appointment probably makes a great deal of sense. But the Tokyo-born 65-year-old takes the reigns at a time when Nintendo is losing its way slightly.
Although it might be Mario’s 30th birthday year, and Splatoon has been selling like hotcakes, hardware sales continue to be a thorn in the company’s side. With news that Nintendo is working on a mysterious new console dubbed the NX, Kimishima does have some hope for a turn around in the near future, but he definitely doesn’t boast the charismatic enthusiasm that endeared Satoru Iwata to his fans.
Instead, Kimishima is a shrewd businessman, and with over 20 years of experience working at the then-most profitable bank in the world — Sanwa — he probably understands better than most how the company’s financial turnaround is both possible and necessary.
The announcement brings other managerial moves too, with Shigeru Miyamoto and Genyo Takeda taking the roles of “Creative Fellow” and “Technology Fellow” respectively. Both retain their positions as representative and senior managing directors. Have a look at the subsequent changes here.
The “fellow” moniker is a new position created by Nintendo to denote an individual with “advanced knowledge and extensive experience, and holds the role of providing advice and guidance regarding organizational operations in a specialized area.”
It should be noted that Kimishima is only Nintendo’s fifth president in its 126 year history.