By Jeff Neuenschwander / September 14th, 2015
It was expected that we would be hearing about Nintendo naming a successor to the late Satoru Iwata, who passed away on July 11th this year. It was also expected that the hiring would be from within, which it was. The only thing we didn’t expect was the name.
Earlier today, Nintendo Co. Ltd. announced that Tatsumi Kimishima would become the fifth President in the company’s long history. Kimishima recently was the Managing Director of Nintendo and held positions on the boards of NCL and NOA.
While his background hasn’t always been in gaming — he worked for Sanwa Bank of Japan starting in 1973, rising to General Manager in 1998 — he has been working with Nintendo since becoming CFO of The Pokemon Company in 2000. He would later become President of Nintendo of America, taking over for the first NOA President Minoru Arakawa. He would eventually be succeeded in that position by current NOA President Reggie Fils-Aime in 2006, but would still play a part in North American gaming as NOA CEO.
The announcement of Kimishima as President also comes with some other titular changes at Nintendo. Shigeru Miyamoto and Genyo Takeda, currently the heads of Nintendo EAD and IRD respectively, will now have the title of Creative Fellow and Technology Fellow. This is a newly established position that recognizes the following: “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.” Both Miyamoto and Takeda have had decades of experience with Nintendo dating back to before the Famicom/NES.
Other Directors were also given new titles. Shigeyuki Takahashi was named as head of Quality Assurance as well as Supervisor of General Affairs — a position Kimishima recently held. Satoshi Yamato was named as head of Advertising. And Shinya Takahashi was named Supervisor of Business Development.
All changes will become official on Wednesday, September 16th.
UPDATE: Contrary to popular belief, Tatsumi Kimishima can indeed smile, as shown in the images below.
Genyo TakedaNew PresidentNintendoNintendo of AmericaShigeru MiyamotoTatsumi Kimishima