Forums - Nintendo Discussion - Iwata Laughs, Becomes CEO of Nintendo of America


Led Nintendo of America Since 2002

REDMOND, Wash., April 24, 2013 – Nintendo Co., Ltd. (NCL) today announced a planned promotion for Tatsumi Kimishima, current chairman and CEO of Nintendo of America (NOA) and a director of its parent Nintendo Co., Ltd. Subject to shareholder approval, he will become NCL managing director, and transfer from NOA in Redmond, Wash., to NCL headquarters in Kyoto, Japan. In his new position, he will assume the roles of general manager of Corporate Analysis and Administration, and general manager of the General Affairs Division. These titles are currently held by Yoshihiro Mori and Masaharu Matsumoto respectively, both of whom are retiring. Kimishima will assume his new duties in Kyoto later this summer.

Kimishima was named to his current position at NOA in 2006. He first joined Nintendo in Japan in 2000, and was subsequently named president of Pokémon USA in 2001, before moving on to become president of the Nintendo of America subsidiary in 2002. Previously, he spent 27 years at Sanwa Bank of Japan, with multiple postings in North America and Central America.

Many of his current responsibilities, including the CEO title, will be assumed by Global President Satoru Iwata. The move will support the company’s unified global strategy, allow streamlined decision making and enhance Nintendo's organizational agility in the current competitive environment. Reggie Fils-Aime will continue in his role as president and COO of NOA, reporting to Iwata.

Other changes announced to Nintendo’s global board of directors can be found at


Iwata: Resign? (Laughs)

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EDIT:Will be locking mine then! Nintendopie  Was obviously right and I was obviously wrong. I will forever be a lesser being than them. (6/16/13)


Older employees retiring, as I hoped and expected. I'm not convinced, as others are, that Iwata is the problem in Nintendo's management. I think Reggie and older hands at Nintendo Japan have been more of a problem, we've no evidence that Iwata is part of, or the entirety of, whatever management failings have taken place over the last few years. I find it strange that someone like Iwata--a relatively young man who has spear-headed some of Nintendo's more forward looking policies--would be the person holding the company back.

This kind of reminds me of a general manager of a pro sports team being forced to become the head coach half way through the season when things are not going well. He's going all in now, and all the blame will be on him if he can't deliver.

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Hmm, Iwata the new Nintendo of America CEO ? Could be good !
I think Iwata doesn´t get enough credit for improving Nintendo´s relationship with japanese thirdparties.
If you look back at the end of the N64 era, they had absolutely no japanese support, Square hated them, Capcom was far to busy with the PS2 (and released what? 2 ports on the N64 before),the same was true for Namco Bandai, Atlus,Tecmo Koei etc. Fast forward to 2013: Dragon Quest is Nintendo exclusive since 2006, Monster Hunter (seems to be) and the other third parties are (once again) on board....on the 3DS

Maybe he can do the same for western publishers ? I like him !

I'm not entirely sure what this entails, but hopefully we never see an Operation Rainfall situation again.

Soriku said:
I'm not entirely sure what this entails, but hopefully we never see an Operation Rainfall situation again.

I don't quite understand how Iwata becoming NoA CEO translates to more localizations. Nintendopie  Was obviously right and I was obviously wrong. I will forever be a lesser being than them. (6/16/13)

Anyone hoping for Iwata's downfall are just, quite frankly, horrible horrible people.

Whether you are a huge supporter of Nintendo or not, there is literally ZERO reason to dislike the guy. Saturo Iwata is the very very RARE case, in this day and age, of a major game company being headed by someone that *gasp* not only used to create games, but is a gamer himself. So unlike 99% of big company head presidents out there, he actually understands not only the product, but the consumer as well. He doesn't need yes-men and focus group analysts to come kiss his butt and tell him what recent trends show consumers allegedly want.

We're talking about the man who helped make Lolo, Kirby, Earthbound, and Smash Bros. for fuck's sake.

But, sadly, much like pro sports, when a team has a spot of trouble, the coach usually gets blamed, even if he has zero control over what's going down. And while I do absolutely think Nintendo as a whole should have had at least a few of those 3DS projects as Wii U projects, as 3DS almost has too many first party games coming recently while Wii U (which needs them) in the last few months has none (namely Luigi's Mansion 2, Paper Mario 4, having Monster Games make a pointless port of DKCR when they should be working on a new Wii U title). I don't however think that he exactly PLANNED for what looked on paper like a fantastic Wii U launch lineup, to have not done as well as expected.

One of the primary things that hurt Nintendo in NA, I believe, is that the original round of commercials for Wii U were atrocious, with craptacular "dubstep" soundtracks, and nonsensical imagery that showed or told nothing to the average consumer about what Wii U really is, and why they should buy one. Whoever was responsible for that commercial in the NOA marketing department should step down, not Iwata. On the same token, I think Reggie has been a good thing for Nintendo overall as well, as while he has a corporate/advertising background, he is also a self-admitted avid gamer, and while he certainly comes off a bit as a "corporate PR guy", which....well, he is, it's also undeniable that when he talks at least about certain games, you can tell that he has genuine enthusiasm for them.

So yup. Iwata's fine. Personally I hope he sticks around as Prez. for a long time to come. He was personally responsible for the mega-success of DS and Wii, and people seem to forget that. He gave himself a pay cut when 3DS initially sold under-par (when he really didn't need to), something I don't seem to remember the presidents of Sony or MS doing at any point. Just saying. The dude just seems like a hell of a guy. Not really sure how you could root against that.

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Otakumegane said:
Soriku said:
I'm not entirely sure what this entails, but hopefully we never see an Operation Rainfall situation again.

I don't quite understand how Iwata becoming NoA CEO translates to more localizations.

NoA seemed like they had a problem with the Operation Rainfall games with even NoE doing all the work and releasing them in EU. So I assume if Iwata's around, there should be a bigger effort to bring localized games than just leaving dumb NoA people to their own decisions. He even said that they're going to bring key Japanese titles to the West, and Nintendo is the one publishing Bravely Default over here.