Satoru Iwata downplays resignation talk

Nintendo president apologizes for lackluster results, but says no management shake-up coming in the short term

Toward the beginning of Nintendo's current fiscal year, company president Satoru Iwata made a commitment to shareholders that the company would achieve significant operating profits. This morning, Nintendo slashed its full-year fiscal forecasts in the wake of weak holiday hardware sales and projected an operating loss for the first time this year, prompting Satoru Iwata to answer questions about his possible resignation.

According to a Reuters report, Iwata apologized to shareholders for the expected shortfall, but dismissed the idea that he should step down as a result.

"There will be no major management shake-up in the short term," Iwata said.

Iwata had already addressed the possibility of his resignation should Nintendo fail to meet its goals this fiscal year. Last July, he told investors that when he made the commitment to post operating profits, people inferred a promise to resign if he failed. However, that was never his intent.

"I have put a lot of energy into thinking about how we can accomplish this performance goal, but comparatively I have not put much effort into considering what we should do if we fail to achieve it," Iwata said at the time. "I also believe now is not the time to mention those things concretely. In that sense, I would like you to think that the word 'commitment,' which I used before, means we have the intention to put in our best effort and ensure that we achieve this goal."

Nintendo stock is trading down sharply as a result of the results, off more than 14 percent to $15.36 in overseas trading as of press time.

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Latest comments (7)

Rick Lopez Illustrator, Graphic Designer 7 years ago
Nintendo's sales performance aside... I just want to say I like Satoru Iwata.... I wouldnt like to see him go. I mean I wouldnt fault him for everything, my understanding is that its not just him who makes the descisions at Nintendo. And Nintendo needs only to make a few adjustments.

1) Improve their Eshop. Like id like my differant accounts to be setup on my WiiU and not have my Eshop account and purchases tied to one machine.
2) Expand game funcionality across multiple platforms.
3) Consolodate various hardware functions. I think both their home console and portable console can share certain functions so they can compliment each other more.
4) Be more in tune to developers needs and wants creating a platform they would want to develope for. Not ignoring technologies like Cryengine or Unreal 4 or open world games.
5) Make people more aware of their products and also cater to a broader demographic of consumers. Cause all the people who played mario are all grown up. And in a way Nintendo needs to grow up too. Its not the 80's.

But anyway, I can think of anything else right now. I dont think he has to go, just a small adjustment in how Nintendo see's its consumers.

But anyway, Bayonetta2 is almost here and it looks awsome... so lets see if they can turn things around... Even though I acknowlage all this can be wishful thinking on my part...

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Rick Lopez on 17th January 2014 5:03pm

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Paul Jace Merchandiser 7 years ago
If Iwata does leave Nintendo theres currently an opening at Microsoft for CEO.
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Jeff Kleist Writer, Marketing, Licensing 7 years ago
Iwata will decide to retire in a year or two. He's simply saving face at the moment. When they find a successor, he will retire, and the appropriate dog and pony show will be done to make it seem like it's all his idea
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Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.7 years ago
I think rather than a successor, he needs a better advisory panel. Perhaps give NOA much more autonomy too. Take risks in more than just hardware design.

And for goodness sake, spend some of that $10+ billion bank account on hardware, internal software, developer/publisher relations, marketing, etc... Sitting on it may draw a nice interest (well, maybe before the recent economic crises) but it doesn't grow your business.
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Jeff Kleist Writer, Marketing, Licensing 7 years ago
Points taken Jim

They need to buy themselves software engineers and a hardware design tem that aren't stuck. A decade in the past
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@Jim. Well said.

We stated back last year that Nintendo needed to clean out their advisory and US executives that placed them in the mess advising that the Wii-U (both name and product) was a viable direction.

Like Microsoft we have seen a number of these "special executives" leave the company, but there are still a number that will not admit their role in this debacle. But for their mobile division they would be holed below the waterline!

After sitting through the Valve SteamDev event I can see that Nintendo US/JP had better learn the meaning of community - or they will be out in the cold.
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Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.7 years ago
Kevin, you can almost see that they do understand the importance of community with Miiverse, NintendoTV, eShop/Miiverse on PC and eShop/Miiverse on smartphones (coming....someday). They've shown that they somewhat grasp the concept but can't quite get the execution down right. That may partly be due to the fact that Nintendo themselves did not develop those services and have relied on external software partners to develop them which leads to a lack of cohesion among them.

They simply aren't big enough to do those kinds of things on their own right now. If they'd use that bank account to the open a few new divisions that focus on those kind of things, enable cohesive community services and keep up with the bigger boys.
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