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Satoru Iwata, President and CEO of Nintendo (1959-2015)

Nintendo President dies of bile duct tumor
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  • Monday, July 13, 2015

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Satoru Iwata

Satoru Iwata, President and CEO of Nintendo, passed away on July 11, 2015 due to a bile duct tumor. He was 55.

In his place, Shigeru Miyamoto and Genyo Takeda are jointly serving as acting presidents of Nintendo.

Nintendo of America, many Nintendo Europe accounts, and Nintendo Australia & New Zealand have announced that they will not post on social media today to honor his memory. The Nintendo flag is flying at half-mast at several Nintendo buildings, including the Japanese headquarters and Nintendo Australia & New Zealand.

History

In 1983, Iwata became coordinator of software production a HAL Laboratories; in 1993, he was appointed president of HAL Laboratories. He helped with the founding of Creatures Inc. in 1995. Despite not working for Nintendo at the time, he helped with the development of Pokémon Gold and Silver, compressing the game enough to be able to include Kanto as well as Johto. Additionally, he was largely responsible for converting the code of Pokémon Red and Green (for the Game Boy) for Pokémon Stadium (for the Nintendo 64).

In 2000, Iwata was appointed head of Nintendo's corporate planning division. In 2002, he was appointed president succeeding Hiroshi Yamauchi, becoming the first Nintendo president without personal ties to the Yamauchi family. In 2013, he was appointed CEO of Nintendo of America.

Iwata had been featured in many Nintendo Direct presentations and, most recently, this year's E3 Digital Event. He was unable to attend E3 in person for the past two years due to his health.

Quote

On my business card, I am a corporate president. In my mind, I am a game developer. But in my heart, I am a gamer.
  -- Satoru Iwata