We begin this week with sad news. Nintendo’s president Satoru Iwata died over the weekend after a battle?with bile duct cancer. Mr. Iwata was just 55 years old.
Mr. Iwata began his Nintendo career in the 1980s. He spent the rest of the 20th century working in their HAL laboratory. He helped develop games like Balloon Fight and EarthBound. In 2000, he was promoted to Nintendo Director. In 2002, he was promoted to company president, a position he held until his untimely death. In 2014, he couldn’t attend the Nintendo annual E3 conference because of failing health. But in November 2014, he tweeted his health was progressing well. However on July 11, 2015, Mr. Iwata passed away. Mr. Iwata led Nintendo through some challenging times. Competitors like XBox and Playstation sometimes put Nintendo third in the gaming industry. Game Cube and Wii U nearly flopped. But under Mr. Iwata’s leadership, Nintendo persevered and thrived. He led the launch of portable console DS in 2004 and Wii home video games in 2006. Both turned out wildly successful. Nintendo DS and 3DS went on to sell over 200 million units. Nintendo Wii would be Nintendo’s all-time home console seller. Over 100 million have sold since it’s inception in 2006. Colleagues and employees remember Mr. Iwata as a strong, creative and intelligent leader.
But Nintendo gamers and fans will forever remember Mr. Iwata for his humor, charisma and connection with fans. He took it upon himself to become the public face of Nintendo.?Mr. Iwata used humor for promotions and at public events. That’s what turned him into a cult icon and made him a hero among Nintendo customers and other video game enthusiast. Tweets and tributes from around the world continue to pour with condolences. And here at Computer Geeks, we’d like to extend our deepest sympathy and condolences to Mr. Satoru Iwata’s family, friends and colleagues during this difficult time. What can other corporate leaders learn from Satoru Iwata?