Nintendo has appointed Tatsumi Kimishima as its new president following Satoru Iwata's death in July. Kimishima, 65, was most recently the company's managing director and the head of human resources, and previously served as CEO of Nintendo's American arm until Iwata assumed those responsibilities in 2013. His association with Nintendo began when he was hired as CFO of The Pokémon Company in 2000; before that, he worked at what is now The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Japan's largest bank, for 27 years.
Shigeru Miyamoto and Genyo Takeda, who had been running Nintendo in interim roles, will continue to have influence at the top of the company. Takeda, an important figure in Nintendo's hardware efforts, has been named Technology Fellow, and legendary Super Mario Bros. and The Legend of Zelda creator Miyamoto is now Creative Fellow. Nintendo defines the Fellow roles 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."
Kimishima takes the reins at a pivotal moment
In Kimishima, Nintendo has appointed a steady figure with considerable experience both inside and outside the company. But unlike the visionary Iwata, he isn't a technically minded developer with deep roots in the industry — it's hard to imagine him talking about how he has the "heart of a gamer." Appointing Miyamoto and Takeda in the explicit Fellow roles may be a move designed to bridge that gap.
And Kimishima takes the reins at a pivotal moment for Nintendo. Its first smartphone game is due in the coming months; it's branching out in new ways with projects like Pokémon Go and the mysterious Quality of Life initiative; and the upcoming NX console is set to be revealed next year.