Join Transform 2021 this July 12-16. Register for the AI event of the year.

Nintendo announced Monday that Tatsumi Kimishima will be taking over the reins as chief executive starting Wednesday, following the July passing of former boss Satoru Iwata, aged 55.

Executive directors Shigeru Miyamoto (creator of Mario, Zelda, and Donkey Kong, among other series) and Genyo Takeda had been temporarily tasked with running the company since the unexpected news in July.

Until now, the 65-year-old Kimishima has been Nintendo’s managing director and president and is considered to be one of the top veterans in Japan’s gaming industry. He also had a previous career as a banker with Sanwa Bank for more than 25 years.

His main challenge in the new role will be to guide Nintendo through what is expected to be a tough transition into the mobile gaming space, bolstered by a new partnership announced in March with mobile games developer DeNA.

In a statement, Nintendo said it was exploring “a large-scale revision of the organizational structure of the company.”

Meanwhile, The Wall Street Journal highlighted some of Kimishima’s background at Nintendo prior to today’s news:

[He] joined the Nintendo fold in December 2000 as representative director of Pokémon Co., which manages licenses and other businesses related to Nintendo’s Pokémon characters. From 2006 to 2013, he was chief executive of Nintendo of America Inc. He assumed his current post of managing director in June 2013.

Tokyo-based games industry analyst Serkan Toto tweeted his support for the new chief exec, saying he was “a smart choice — Nintendo can’t afford experimenting in this transitional time between two console generations and going mobile.”

Nintendo stocks were trading slightly down on Monday following the lunch break in Tokyo, a day after Super Mario Bros. turned 30.


GamesBeat's creed when covering the game industry is "where passion meets business." What does this mean? We want to tell you how the news matters to you -- not just as a decision-maker at a game studio, but also as a fan of games. Whether you read our articles, listen to our podcasts, or watch our videos, GamesBeat will help you learn about the industry and enjoy engaging with it. How will you do that? Membership includes access to:
  • Newsletters, such as DeanBeat
  • The wonderful, educational, and fun speakers at our events
  • Networking opportunities
  • Special members-only interviews, chats, and "open office" events with GamesBeat staff
  • Chatting with community members, GamesBeat staff, and other guests in our Discord
  • And maybe even a fun prize or two
  • Introductions to like-minded parties
Become a member