How will the loss of Satoru Iwata impact Nintendo?
I don’t normally feel much of a connection to heads of multinational companies, but when I heard the news that Nintendo’s President Satoru Iwata had died, I really felt like someone I knew and liked had passed away. Obviously, this is silly in a way. I never met him and he didn’t know me from Adam. Still, my daughter and I watched his disarmingly charming Iwata Asks videos many times together, and his creations added hours of enjoyment to our house. Unlike many company presidents, Iwata worked his way up from being a programmer (he created Kirby) to being the first Nintendo president that wasn’t a member of the company’s founding family. This is even more impressive in light of the fact that Nintendo was founded in the late 1800s.
There aren’t many companies where the president was so central to its vision and public perception. Think about it, if you heard that the CEO of Exxon passed away, what would your first reaction be? Mine would be, “I have no idea who the CEO of Exxon is.” Iwata wasn’t like that. Along with Miyamoto, Iwata was the public face of Nintendo.
The company will go on, obviously, but I think this is a massive loss. How will Iwata’s passing change Nintendo?
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