Following the death of beloved Nintendo President Satoru Iwata and the lackluster lifespan of the Wii U console, Nintendo appeared to be in trouble. As fans now know, the Nintendo Switch proved to be the spark that the company needed, as the console has managed to already sell the lifetime sales of the Wii U in its first year alone. Guided by the steady hand of Tatsumi Kimishima over the past three years, the current Nintendo president has decided to retire at the end of June. To ensure a smooth transition, Nintendo and Kimishima have just announced the sixth president in the company’s 128 years of operation.
Kimishima’s successor is none other than Shuntaro Furukawa, an acting board member of both Nintendo and The Pokemon Company. Originally joining the company back in 1994, he originally came up from the marketing side of the company. Furukawa plans to blend and balance Nintendo’s two-valued traditions of originality and flexibility. Nintendo’s management is getting younger across the board as Satoru Shibata, president of Nintendo of Europe, Yoshiaki Koizumi, principal architect of the Switch, and Takashi Tezuka, who modernized Super Mario, are also getting promotions.
The move appears to have a number of added benefits. For one, Furukawa is able to speak fluent English, a fact which could indicate that he may be placed more in the spotlight similar to what the late Satoru Iwata did for Nintendo during E3 or various Nintendo Direct videos. The other interesting aspect of this move is that Furukawa is only 46 years old, fairly young for someone in this position. Considering that he grew up with the original Nintendo Famicom (Nintendo Entertainment System) in Japan, it’s clear that Nintendo is hopeful Furukawa will be better suited to connect and communicate with the company’s current customer base.
Since launching the Nintendo Switch last year, the company has been on a dominant roll, something that the new president will need to continue when he takes over in June. Nintendo recently announced that it expects to sell over 20 million units over the next 12 months. This won’t be an easy task to pull off but with a Switch version of Super Smash Bros. on the way later this year as well as a rumored Pokemon Switch title, Nintendo appears to be primed to keep its momentum rolling well into 2019.