Satoru Iwata Adds Nintendo Of America CEO To His List Of Duties

nintendo wii u iwata

Shortly after Nintendo’s announcement today that favorable Yen exchange rates had dragged the company back into net profitability, The Big N revealed a string of management shifts which ultimately resulted in Nintendo president Satoru Iwata adding the role of NOA Chief Executive Officer to his resume.

The Nintendo management shuffle starts with the company’s current general manager of Corporate Analysis and Administration, and their general manager of the General Affairs Division (Yoshihiro Mori and Masaharu Matsumoto, respectively) announcing their upcoming retirement. A “planned promotion” for the current chairman and CEO of Nintendo of Ameria, Tatsumi Kimishima, will result in him taking over both roles and changing his business card to read NCL managing director.

This change will leave Nintendo of America without a CEO, so the decision was made to just add that responsibility to Nintendo big boss Satoru Iwata’s list of things to do when not filming Nintendo Direct presentation skits.

Reggie Fils-Aime seems to have been completely passed over, as he will continue in his role as president and COO of NOA, reporting to directly to Iwata via awkward Wii U chats.

Not that the CEO of Nintendo of America has a tremendous amount of influence over the direction of the Japan-based video game giant, but the decision to consolidate more power in the hands of Satoru Iwata is questionable at best. Outside of the DS and Wii, Iwata does not have a very good track record, and a strong case can be made (actually one has already been made by NotEnoughShaders) that it might be time for a new Nintendo president.

Let us know your thoughts on Satoru Iwata‘s additional role in the comments, and check out the full press release below for all the hot details.


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