Posted by: seanmalstrom | July 15, 2015

Email: Miyamoto

I don’t think there’s any way Miyamoto will be CEO. When Iwata had to field tough questions from shareholders, he may have given some cupcake answers, but you could always tell he knew what he was doing. Can you imagine Miyamoto answering shareholder questions?

You think he could have help on the “business side,” but I’m not sure what a CEO does other than the “business side.” You have to have one big cheese at the company that bears the weight of success or failure. As much as Miyamoto can serve as the public face of Nintendo, he’s way too much of a cartoon character to take that role. He’s like the crazy uncle that you always love to have in the house, but you’d never want as your *dad*.

Nonetheless, Miyamoto is by far the most powerful person at Nintendo now. He’s going to have the final say in who fills that role, so we can expect that the next CEO will be a guy that thinks every Miyamoto idea is brilliant and gives him carte blanche to do whatever he wants and influence every hardware and software decision that is made. In a way, Miyamoto can be CEO by proxy. Is that what you meant in the first place? Hopefully, as you say, Miyamoto has come to terms with what happened with Wii U and 3DS (and Virtual Boy).

But I just don’t know. As you’ve demonstrated, Nintendo has been infected with validation culture. Entire projects and products are devoted to proving that previous failures weren’t bad ideas, they were just ahead of their time. Miyamoto is right at the center of that. I never felt that Iwata was. So we’re hoping for an awfully big about-face in a short amount of time (since, say, the rerelease of Wind Waker). Also, Iwata was a very very humble guy–do you feel that way about Miyamoto? Pride has historically been bad for Nintendo.


This is why you are the emailer, and I am the Malstrom.

The Wall Street Journal is speculating Miyamoto as the next possible president.

I’ll let you in on one thing I know: the president needs to be able to travel. This is partially why Yamauchi retired and why a younger Iwata was given the responsibility. Miyamoto travels all the time. That ability to travel may be the most important requirement.

Miyamoto will retire soon. But if you are going to go out, you want to go out on top. Miyamoto has done nearly everything else at the company. Why not be president? The employees would accept it. The investors would be thrilled with it. And the public would love it. Miyamoto is also very good at talking to the press which a president would do often.

It may not be Miyamoto. The business world is about probabilities. The most probable new Nintendo president, from what I know, would be Miyamoto. Yamauchi used to call Miyamoto ‘son’. I don’t see anyone protesting him becoming president. From my limited perspective, he is the most probable successor.



%d bloggers like this: