Business / Corporate

Nintendo names new president after Iwata death

AP, Kyodo

Nintendo has named a long-serving executive as president following the death in July of Satoru Iwata.

Nintendo Co. said Monday that a board meeting decided to appoint Tatsumi Kimishima, 65, as president to strengthen management of the video game maker.

A new title of “Creative Fellow” was announced for star game designer and Senior Managing Director Shigeru Miyamoto. Nintendo said the title was meant to convey his role in providing advice and guidance.

Another senior executive, Genyo Takeda, was given the title “Technology Fellow.”

The company said the new titles are part of a “large-scale revision” of Nintendo’s organizational structure that will take effective Wednesday.

Kimishima was a managing director of the company in charge of corporate analysis, general affairs and human resources divisions.

He has been at Nintendo since 2000 when he was appointed director of its Pokemon characters business.

Graduating from Hitotsubashi University, Kimishima joined Sanwa Bank, a predecessor of the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, in 1973 and became a director of Nintendo of America Inc. in 2002. He took the current position of managing director in June 2013.

Iwata, president from 2002, was a highly visible spokesman for Nintendo, and many in the game industry mourned the 55-year-old’s death, which followed a long illness.

Iwata, who led Nintendo’s development into a global company with its hit game consoles, shifted corporate strategy, leading to the announcement in March of Nintendo’s alliance with online gaming firm DeNA Co. to develop gaming applications for mobile users and launch a new membership service.

The Kyoto-based company had long been putting emphasis on selling game consoles and software and faced a hard time in recent years with the rise of games on smartphones.

Earlier this year, Nintendo did an about-face and announced it would go into games for mobile devices, a move it had avoided for years.

Iwata died of a tumor in his bile duct on July 11 at the age of 55, according to the company.