Nintendo Names New President After Sudden Death of CEO

Japanese videogame maker Nintendo Co Ltd said on Monday it was promoting Managing Director Tatsumi Kimishima to replace former President Satoru Iwata who died of cancer in July.

Kimishima, a former banker who has also led Nintendo’s US operations, will take his new post on Wednesday, the company said.

Kimishima, 65, succeeds a charismatic leader who was a hands-on manager and launched Nintendo’s bestselling Wii console.

But with his track record of running key operations overseas and his background in finance, he is seen as providing balance in a management team that will also continue to include two prominent gaming engineers, analysts said.

Genyo Takeda, one of the lead developers of the Wii, and Senior Managing Director Shigeru Miyamoto, creator of the Mario and Donkey Kong hit games, will remain Nintendo’s other two representative directors.

“(Kimishima) is a safe choice to continue on the path set by Iwata,” said Hideki Yasuda, an analyst with Ace Research Institute. “He will be in charge of management, while Takeda and Miyamoto will be responsible for the gaming hardware and software businesses.”

The two engineers had been seen as possible candidates to take the top post because they were temporarily put in charge of running the company after Iwata’s death.

Kimishima will be tasked with a balancing act of avoiding cannibalising traditional console sales, while pushing aggressively into mobile gaming.

Just months before his death, Iwata decided to enter mobile gaming through a partnership with online gaming firm DeNA Co Ltd after years of resisting investor calls for such a move.