Following the tragic death of industry legend and one of my personal heroes Satoru Iwata, Nintendo went into a consultation period, with Nintendo veterans Shigeru Miyamoto and Genyo Takeda running the company on an interim basis. However, this week Nintendo announced who would succeed Satoru Iwata as President of Nintendo. That man is Nintendo’s Managing Director and Head of Human Resources Tatsumi Kimishima.
Most may not have heard of 65 year old Tatsumi Kimishima, however he certainly has considerable experience at Nintendo, having been with the company since 2000. Kimishima was initially brought in as a part of the Pokemon company, acting as both the company’s Chief Financial Officer, and the President of Pokemon USA the year after. He was later chosen to succeed then President Hiroshi Yamauchi’s son-in-law Minoru Arakawa as President of Nintendo of America, whereby he oversaw the American release of the DS and Wii consoles, amongst many other achievements. This subsequently led to roles back at Nintendo headquarters in Kyoto such as becoming Managing Director, and Head of Human Resources, positions he has held until taking the top job this week.
However, Tatsumi Kimishima won’t be overseeing the famous company all by himself. As Genyo Takeda and Shigeru Miyamoto will of course continue on at the company with new top roles. As part of a new management system at Nintendo, Genyo Takeda will take on the role of Technology Fellow, and Shigeru Miyamoto will act in the role of Creative Fellow. This will see Nintendo managed through a collective approach to leadership with Takeda in charge of hardware, Miyamoto in charge of software, and Kimishima in charge of administration. This was reiterated through comments made by Tatsumi Kimishima following the announcement:
We thought it’s better that Takeda and Miyamoto manage hardware and software, and I control administration, The new system is meant to bring up the next-generation executives of Nintendo.
Despite only initially being given the role for one year, most analysts consider Kimishima to be a very astute choice, and a safe pair of hands. Thankfully, this means we shouldn’t expect any radical changes at Nintendo. Instead many predict Kimishima will look to stabilise the company in preparation for both the Wii U’s successor, and Nintendo’s venture into the lucrative Japanese smartphone market. Kimishima may also look to place more emphasis than what is presently seen on the Western market, given his considerable experience at the helm at Nintendo of America. It looks like there is, as always, a lot to look forward to at Nintendo despite the recent tragic news. It’s also good to have these higher managerial positions locked down, with three highly experienced and knowledgeable industry veterans leading gaming’s most famous company.