In a recent announcement released along with their latest financial earnings report, Nintendo announced that their current president, 68-year-old Tatsumi Kimishima, will be stepping down from his position at the end of June.
Pending shareholder approval, Kimishima will retire on June 28, and will be replaced by Shuntaro Furukawa, the current head of Nintendo’s global marketing department. Furukawa has been with Nintendo since 1994 and is also Nintendo’s managing executive officer. He also acts as the Pokemon Company’s outside director.
One of the most interesting things about about Furukawa being Kimishima’s successor is the fact that Furukawa is relatively young. Born in 1972, Furukawa will be 46 years old when he becomes Nintendo’s next president, which is quite a gap compared to Kimishima’s 68 years old. While his age might come as a surprise to some, it is notable to mention how the late Satoru Iwata, the former longtime president and CEO of Nintendo, was just 43 when he took the helm.
Kimishima’s performance had nothing to do with the transition of power. According to the Japanese news website Nikkei (as translated by Kotaku,) Kimishima himself believed that Nintendo’s management needed to be younger in order to be able to best understand their customers. Nintendo had been seeking an opportune time to pass on the baton for a while now, but they were waiting for sales to make a comeback before making the transfer. While Kimishima was not president for very long, the time he spent there was a prosperous one for Nintendo, with the release of the Switch, already one of their best-selling consoles with a good deal of their best games. The huge success of the Switch is likely a major catalyst for the transfer of the presidency to Furukawa.
A hefty congratulations are in order for Shuntaro Furukawa as well as a fond farewell for Tatsumi Kimishima.