Longtime Nintendo executive Tatsumi Kimishima has just been promoted into the role of the company president. He will be the fifth person to assume the position in the 125 years of the company, and he follows in the footsteps of the late Satoru Iwata, the former president who passed away at 55 earlier this year.
His new responsibilities begin on Wednesday, Sept. 16.
Kimishima comes from a much more financial background than Iwata, who started his career as a gamer and a programmer for HAL Laboratories. He got his start working for Japanese banks before joining The Pokemon Company as its CFO in 2000. He was appointed as the President of Nintendo of America from 2002 until 2006 during the GameCube era of the company, and he returned to Japan once that position was handed over the Reggie Fils-Aime.
Most recently, he has been acting as General Manager of the company’s General Affairs Division and its Corporate Analysis & Administration Division since 2013 and the Managing Director of human resources.
Kimishima was voted by the company’s board as the next President, and many of the other executives will be granted new positions in a “large-scale revision of the organizational structure of the Company.” Many will be called “fellows,” which is labeled by Nintendo as “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.”
Wii Architect Genyo Takeda, who has been running the company along with creative mind Shigeru Miyamoto in this recent interim, has been given the title of “Creative Fellow,” and it remains to be seen who else will fill the role.
Kimishma inherits the company at a time when many fans are still wondering about its future. The advances of smartphone games, which Nintendo is pursuing through a partnership with DeNA, and clashes with the creativity of traditional platforms are general points many have questions for. Iwata also was a much loved public figure whom many felt an intimate connection with because of his background as a gamer, his masterful communication skills, and his general interest in showing Nintendo to the world through Iwata Asks segments and frequent public appearances at conventions.
Kimishima has the credentials to be the company president, and now we await to see if he can bring that extra spark of passion.