Nintendo names new president after sudden death of CEO

Nintendo names new president after sudden death of CEO
Nintendo's game creator Shigeru Miyamoto (R) reacts while standing with his character "Super Mario" (L) during a live performance of the most well-known Mario music to mark the game's 30th anniversary in Tokyo on September 13, 2015.
PHOTO: AFP

TOKYO - Japanese videogame giant Nintendo said Monday it has appointed Tatsumi Kimishima as its new president two months after its chief executive died of cancer.

Kimishima, who is currently the head of human resources, will take office on Wednesday, the company said in a statement.

The 65 year-old former banker also served as CEO of Nintendo America between 2006 and 2013.

The Kyoto-based company said it has named Kimishima to "reinforce and enhance its management" after the death of CEO Satoru Iwata.

Iwata died in July aged 55, just months after abandoning a controversial consoles-only policy and launching a push into the booming smartphone games market.

"It's a very orthodox choice, which sends a message that the company is choosing to stay the course," Mitsushige Akino, executive officer at Ichiyoshi Asset Management, told Bloomberg News.

"Investors expecting growth would have preferred to see some bigger changes. Someone with a direct experience in designing games would have been better."

Iwata, a leading figure in the videogame industry, oversaw the success of Nintendo's Wii games console and a surge in revenue before smartphone games started eating away at its success.

A visibly thinner Iwata announced last year that he was sick and did not attend the firm's shareholder meeting in June 2014, although the severity of his illness was unclear at the time.

He returned to work over the following months and continued to be the public face of Nintendo, including when the company announced financial results in May.

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