Nintendo just replaced its president with a Pokémon veteran

  • Nintendo president Tatsumi Kimishima is stepping down, having served a temporary role as acting director after the sudden death of former Nintendo president Satoru Iwata in 2015.
  • The Japanese gaming giant is getting a new president: Shuntaro Furukawa, a longtime Nintendo staffer.
  • At just 46 years old, Furukawa is a notably young leader for Nintendo.

Nintendo has a new president: Shuntaro Furukawa, a veteran Nintendo employee who’s just 46 years old.

The move comes as no surprise, as retiring president Tatsumi Kimishima was intended as an interim director. He was appointed as such in 2015 by Nintendo’s board – a measure taken in response to the sudden death of long-time Nintendo president Satoru Iwata in the summer of 2015.

Kimishima led Nintendo’s new console launch, the Switch, which has been a massive success. During a press conference in Japan on Thursday, Kimishima, Furukawa, and a slew of other major Nintendo executives announced the change in leadership.

“We will develop the company to its fullest,” said Furukawa, according to a Bloomberg report. “I will balance Nintendo’s traditions: originality and flexibility.”

Super Smash Bros. (Switch)NintendoThe big upcoming game for Nintendo in 2018 is a ‘Super Smash Bros.’ entry on the Switch console.

Furukawa has served as a board member at The Pokémon Company since 2012, and has a long history at Nintendo: He started in 1994, having grown up playing Nintendo’s Famicom console (the original Nintendo Entertainment System). “I grew up playing the Famicom and come from that generation,” he said on Thursday.

It was his youthful experience with Nintendo’s breakthrough console that led him to the company, where he worked in administrative and marketing roles. He reportedly worked on the Switch, though much of his time since joining Nintendo was spent in non-creative roles; his most recent role was leading Nintendo’s global marketing efforts.

Alongside the shakeup at Nintendo’s top role, a handful of other key players are moving up within the company. But those changes won’t take place, nor will Furukawa become president, until Nintendo’s shareholders and board vote in late June.

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