Tatsumi Kimishima: New Nintendo President

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In a press conference at the Osaka Stock Exchange in Osaka, Japan, newly appointed Nintendo President Tatsumi Kimishima spoke to reporters regarding the state of the company and what direction it was headed in. Kimishima previously served as the president of Nintendo of America from 2002 to 2006 until he handed over the reigns to current Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime.

Aside from his obvious contributions to the popular Pokemon franchise, Kimishima has a corporate background as he worked for the Sanwa Bank of Japan for 27 years. He has served as the Chief Financial Officer for The Pokemon Company and the president of Pokemon USA Inc. Kimishima has also served as the Managing Director of Nintendo since 2013.

The organizational restructuring of Nintendo was made in September partly due to an unexpected turn of events earlier this year. Kimishima fills the void left by former Nintendo president Satoru Iwata, who died on July 11, 2015 due to bile duct cancer. Much like Iwata, when he first took over as Nintendo President in 2002, Kimishima is not well known among gamers and game critics. Unless you are an avid follower of Nintendo and you study the names behind the daily operations of the company, you probably wouldn’t be too familiar with Tatsumi Kimishima’s work. It is also interesting to note that Kimishima is 65 years of age — 10 years older than Iwata when he last held the position of president.

Kimishima takes over at a time when Nintendo is in a transition period, realizing that the Nintendo Wii U hasn’t been winning the race in console sales against the Xbox One and the Sony Playstation 4. Shigeru Miyamoto and Genyo Takeda will oversee software development for Nintendo, taking on the roles of “Creative Fellow” and “Technology Fellow” respectively while Kimishima will handle the administrative side of Nintendo. Kimishima is said to have a different management style and business approach compared with the former president.

Game editor analysis: In my opinion, while they made a safe pick in selecting him to lead the company, I also believe that Tatsumi Kimishima will do just fine as the new Nintendo President. He has the experience working in a similar role and he has great knowledge of the company. Considering that he doesn’t intend to change the direction where Nintendo is going, it seems to me that Kimishima will fit right in with the everyday core operations of Nintendo. Sometimes it just makes sense to stay in house when making a key hire like this one.

By Steven Vitte