Nintendo Names Tatsumi Kimishima President

Monday, September 14th, 2015

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Nintendo President Tatsumi Kimishima

New Nintendo President Tatsumi Kimishima

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.

Tatsumi Kimishima

Kimishima as NOA President

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.

Click here if you want to read the full announcement.

UPDATE: Contrary to popular belief, Tatsumi Kimishima can indeed smile, as shown in the images below.

Tatsumi Kimishima - Press ConferenceTatsumi Kimishima - Playing

About Jeff Neuenschwander

Jeff has been a supporter of the website and campaign since the beginning. Joining in for E3 2012, he worked his way up the ranks quickly, making it to the Editing Manager post at the beginning of 2013. Jeff has a wide variety of tastes when it comes to gaming and pretty much likes anything that is quirky, although his favorite genres are Action, Platforming, and RPG. Outside of gaming, Jeff is a musician, being trained as a trombonist for Jazz and Classical music, and holds a degree in Sound Recording.




  • Draco Breach

    Considering his experiences in both America and Japan, Kimishima-san may have a pretty good radar for multiple cultures when it comes to actually localizing games. Remains to be seen obviously, but it’s still a possibility. Then there’s his financial and advertisement backgrounds that I hope work favorably for Nintendo.

    In short, I can’t say I’m disappointed. He’s FAR from the worst choice they could have made.

    Oh, I’m not implying he’s a bad choice 😉 I actually rather like Kimishima-san.

  • Razorfall

    He’s got some mighty large shoes to fill. I wish him the best!

  • Shon

    I have mixed feels about Kimishima becoming the new CEO. What made Iwata great as a CEO was his mixture of being a great game designer and later a good businessman. Iwata knew what gamers wanted and my worry about Kimishima is his background was mainly in Business which means if he doesn’t have the savy of Hiroshi Yamauchi (Who didn’t like video games but let people like Shigeru Miyamoto have the freedom to create good games) then he could really hinder Nintendo. Hopefully the shareholders knew what they were doing when they elected him because it is my belief that he’ll either make or break the company. I’m also hoping that they’ll stop the practice of using last gen technology when creating consoles as I don’t think it has helped the company win over hardcore gamers.