Today is a big day for Nintendo, as it undergoes a series of structural changes in its organization. First up, the company is fulfilling what it announced back in April, with Shuntaro Furukawa replacing Tatsumi Kimishima as the president of Nintendo Co., Ltd, as the latter retires.
The announcement, which comes from the company's 78th Annual General Meeting of Shareholders, comes with comments from both the retiring president and the one stepping in today. Kimishima bids the company farewell while looking back on the success of the Switch's launch:
“I was appointed president due to the sudden passing of our former president, but due to the support of a great deal of good people – including shareholders – the Switch was released without a hitch. I don’t think I could retire at a better time. Thank you very much.”
The newly appointed president, Furukawa, also commented saying that the company remains committed to making people smile:
“I will now be taking office as president and will serve as such at all future Board of Directors meetings. As a company, we will continue to change with the times, but no matter what we will continue to be a company that incorporates flexibility and ingenuity into the entertainment we produce – and continue to be devoted to making people smile.”
Nintendo is also making changes to the executive structure of its European division, with president Satoru Shibata stepping down from his role after 18 years to return to the company's headquarters in Kyoto. As such, the company has announced that Koji Miyake will be taking the role of CEO and chairman at Nintendo of Europe, while Stephan Bole will serve as president and COO going forward, with Luciano Pereña serving as CFO and Laurent Fischer as CMO.
The newly appointed president of the European division has been the senior managing director of European subsidiaries and affiliates at Nintendo, after 14 years as managing director at Nintendo France. Bole commented on his new position, thanking former president Shibata for his work while affirming the belief that the company will continue to deliver on its mission:
"To say that Mr Shibata's contributions have been instrumental to Nintendo's European operations is an understatement (...). His efforts over the past 18 years have helped to bring Nintendo products to generations of players across Europe - and beyond. While he will be missed by many, I have full confidence that with our new structure we'll be able to continue our mission of putting smiles on people's faces through our unique gaming experiences."
Nintendo is going through a particularly successful period of its history, following the major setback that was its Wii U console. The new structure will, hopefully, help guide the company forward while maintaining its positive results.