You may remember that the Wall Street Journal were confident that legendary video game designer Shigeru Miyamoto would be next in line to lead Nintendo. Well, it seems as though various industry analysts do not believe this to be the case. The analysts that spoke to GamesIndustry think that the most likely candidate to lead Nintendo will be Genyo Takeda. The analysts also think it is extremely likely that they will employ someone from the company, rather than an outsider. You can read the full article here.
“I am pretty sure that the candidate will come from within the business; the very essence of Nintendo games draws from decades of management recognising a market desire for mass market fun. The obvious two choices are Takeda-san or Miyamoto-san, the former a hardware technology company veteran, the latter, the king of Nintendo first party content. Although it would be a romantic dream to have the company lead by the father of Mario, I think Takeda-san has more corporate experience and really understands hardware; it was he who argued for a new interface for the Wii rather than just a faster Gamecube with better graphics,” said Nick Parker of Parker Consulting.
“We are on the cusp of a new generation of Nintendo hardware within three years, both console and handheld, and Nintendo needs Takeda-san’s experience. The alternative would be a relative unknown from within, from which there is a deep pool of loyal, long serving (25 years+) candidates. The next five years are crucial to Nintendo as it launches new hardware and explores digital opportunities, including mobile, for its mascot titles; therefore it needs somebody who understands the company culture, can respond to global consumer expectations, and manage an enviable balance sheet.”
Mike Schramm, manager of Qualitative Insights at EEDAR, is placing his bets on Takeda. “Genyo Takeda, who helped Punch-Out and Startropics, was one of the main devs on the Wii, and has a similar trajectory in the company as Iwata (from programmer to manager to executive). Takeda is likely a lead candidate for the job,” he said. “Nintendo also has a number of executives on its board of directors who also could step up into the spot. It’s very unlikely that the company would hire someone from outside Japan or from another corporation, as Nintendo doesn’t need to (and shouldn’t want to) make waves with this appointment. Most likely it’ll be a senior Japanese executive at the company, ideally someone who has had a hand in game development at some point.”
“It will surely take some time and energy to find a new CEO, but Iwata-san put Nintendo on track and initiated some drastic strategic shifts in spring, mostly importantly Nintendo’s move into mobile,” Toto pointed out.
IDC research manager Lewis Ward commetned, “[Iwata’s replacement] is going to have to hit the ground running since Nintendo is facing stiff competition from both within and beyond the industry. Given the fast pace of consumer electronics evolution and the rise of Web-based services, it’s pretty clear that the games industry is going to be dramatically different 5 years from now. The new CEO will have to have a plan for navigating these waters with NX and so on, while not undercutting Nintendo’s surprisingly innovative culture and willingness to reinvent much-beloved franchises. I can’t speculate further on who the next CEO is likely to be, but the background of that individual will say a lot about where Nintendo wants to go in the next several years, which will be crucial to the company’s long-term fortunes.”
“In the end, the biggest change may be the way Nintendo deals with its closest fans. Iwata was a consumer-focused CEO, and really pushed projects that connected directly with gamers and connected gamers to each other. Nintendo’s next leader may instead focus on the hardware, selling the product directly rather than the community that comes with it,” he remarked.
“Nintendo famously moved away from standard E3 press conferences under Iwata, and another leader might bring Nintendo’s presentations back there. Iwata called for accessibility with the Wii and the DS, and the next leader might push for exclusivity or certain audiences instead. A lot of the elements that Iwata championed (like fun, imagination, innovation, and accessibility) are definitely part of Nintendo’s DNA no matter who’s in charge, but the next leader may approach those elements in a different way.”