News Article

Satoru Iwata Recovering From Surgery To Remove Growth, Will Miss Nintendo's AGM

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

"I came through it well, as predicted"

Prior to E3 2014, there was the sudden news that Satoru Iwata wasn't attending the event for health-related reasons, though no details were given aside from reassurances that it was still "business as usual" for the Nintendo President.

With Nintendo's AGM (Annual General Meeting of Shareholders) set to take place on 27th June, the company has now confirmed that Iwata-san will not be in attendance. The company president issued the following letter to shareholders on Nintendo's investor relations website.

Thank you very much for your continued extraordinary support of us. I am Satoru Iwata, President of the company.

Today, there is one thing that I would like to share with you.

Recently, as the result of one of my routine physical examinations, an issue was detected. Following a more detailed examination, a growth was found in my bile duct.

In general, it is said that a bile duct growth can be difficult-to-treat, partly because of the difficulty of detecting it early. In my case, luckily, it was detected very early and I had no symptoms.

I was counseled that removal at an early stage would be the desirable medical option. Therefore I had surgery last week, and I came through it well, as predicted.

I have already resumed my business by email and by other means, but it is anticipated that a little more time is needed for me to return to my regular work schedule.

As a result, I have no choice but to miss the company’s very important activity, the Annual General Meeting of Shareholders, to be held this month. As the president of the company, I regret that I cannot attend the meeting. However, I understand that I have to prioritize my medical treatment and to recover as soon as possible so that I will again be able to do my best to help the company to grow. I hope that you understand.

Best Regards,
Satoru Iwata

This letter certainly contains good news in terms of alleviating any long-term uncertainty over Satoru Iwata's health, even if he can't attend the company's AGM as normal.

We wish Iwata-san a speedy recovery.

[via nintendo.co.jp]

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User Comments (66)

cfgk24

#5

cfgk24 said:

Stress is the biggest cause of most illnesses/health problems yet there is not a single government that helps to reduce stress despite having the power to do so. However Nintendo characters/executives have extra lives/health and we hope that Iwata recovers Quickly. :-)

Marshi

#6

Marshi said:

Glad to hear he is on the mend. The bile duct...isnt that his rear end? Ouch.

Wish him all the best. Please understand Iwata-san that this will not affect my love of Nintendo and the wii u at all! ;-)

Yoshis_VGM

#7

Yoshis_VGM said:

I'm happy to hear that he's making a speedy recovery. After hearing a vague "health-related reasons," I figured that it would be a stress-related sickness and he just needed a brief recovery period. I never would've expected that he would've required surgery.

In any case, I'm glad he's recovering well and I'm looking forward to seeing him once again in the next Nintendo Direct.

Artwark

#8

Artwark said:

I hope nothing bad happens to him after the recovery........ I'm worried about his role whether he will be replaced or not......

WiiLovePeace

#9

WiiLovePeace said:

I'm slightly disappointed he didn't end his letter with "Please Understand." But I'm far more thankful he is taking the time out to make sure he returns with his full health intact. Much love Iwata, get well soon!!

Nintygek

#11

Nintygek said:

Health comes first. Get well soon because Nintendo needs you to lead them to victory! You still have my support ;-)

Blue-Thunder

#12

Blue-Thunder said:

He is a very lucky man the growth was spotted. I know I complained about his management direction but I've changed my mind, he is a good leader for Nintendo and he is following Hiroshi Yamauchi's way of thinking.

I don't think he'll be sorry he has to miss the AGM I know I'd hate something like that. :-)

TwilightV

#13

TwilightV said:

Good to see things went well for him. :)

I'd like to know who's attending the meeting in his place.

Peach64

#17

Peach64 said:

Sounds a lot more serious than I realised. I figured it was stress before, but seems not. Get well soon, Iwata.

Beta

#21

Beta said:

I wish you a quick recovery, Iwata-san! :)
Btw, what did they exactly remove? That line really confused me O.o

kensredemption

#22

kensredemption said:

@Marshi The bile duct connects your liver to your small intestine. It release bile which helps break down the lipids (fats) in the food you eat.

In any case, my best regards to Iwata-heika. You should be proud of what happened at E3. Your team took home the gold. Just rest easy and continue on the road to recovery.

Kaze_Memaryu

#23

Kaze_Memaryu said:

Lucky Iwata! He got through the surgery really well, and yet he doesn't have to endure the unqualified shareholder babble! Stay positive! ^_-

MrGawain

#26

MrGawain said:

I think this shows fantastic commitment by Iwata to Nintendo. No one would have blamed him for stepping down over these health issues, and he could of ducked out of a pressure cooker of a job, but he's planning on coming back to carry on with the job at hand. I have a lot of respect for him.

AJWolfTill

#28

AJWolfTill said:

Guess he'll have some time to play some of his companies upcoming games for awhile. There is always a silver lining! :)

SMW

#29

SMW said:

Wohoo! So relieved he is going to be alright. Now he better get enough rest before returning to work! Don't want him overworking when he needs to spend time recovering. Crazy Iwata even working from home while he recovers; don't overwork yourself!

Sakura

#30

Sakura said:

Get well soon Iwata!

He seems to have been very lucky for this to have been detected early. Prognosis for late detection is not at all good... Now if the Japanese government would take as much care of the Tsunami victims as Nintendo does it's executives, that would be great indeed. Show them the way Nintendo!

NintyMan

#31

NintyMan said:

Glad it to see it was detected very early. I'm sure Iwata was quite disappointed at not being able to go to E3, especially with the stellar line-up his company was planning, but health does come first. At least we got to see him fight Reggie Smash Bros.-style! I love Iwata.

allav866

#32

allav866 said:

It's a shame he couldn't be at E3 to see his company beat Sony and M$, but it's good that he took care of himself first. Stay strong, Mr. Iwata!

manic221

#33

manic221 said:

Get well soon Iwata-San! it's our turn to send our support, directly... to you!

KodyDawg

#35

KodyDawg said:

Love you, Iwata! Get well soon so you can show Reggie how to really kick @$$ in SSB4!

SphericalCrusher

#36

SphericalCrusher said:

You are the king and your throne is waiting for you upon your return. Thank you and I wish you a fast recovery! =)

sinalefa

#39

sinalefa said:

Sounds good. I hope you improve and I hope the shareholders don't try to ditch you while you are not there.

Get well soon, Satoru!

617Sqn

#41

617Sqn said:

I'm sure he's not the first nintendo employe to become unwell. Not really news. I'm sure those seven year olds who work for $1 a week in the factory where the wii u is produced are poorly quite often, yet this does not make the news!

Silent

#42

Silent said:

Meanwhile in Sakurai-land,

''DAM U SAKURAI FOR NOT MAKING MELEE 2.0 EVEN THOUGH WE KNOW YOU ARE INJURING YOURSELF MAKING THE GAME.''

LittleIrves

#49

LittleIrves said:

Holy cow. The bile duct is not the place you want a growth to be found. Really, really hope the news is as optimistic as his letter makes it sound. Hope he recovers quickly and fully.

billychaos

#51

billychaos said:

Wow that's rough. Hope he recovers and it turns out to be nothing. Speaking from my past experiences with lost family members, issues like that are really scary. It's like flipping a coin and saying 'heads' = your ok, 'tails' = things are going to get really, really bad soon. I hope he and anyone who goes through that come out ok.

GalacticMario28

#52

GalacticMario28 said:

I don't even want to think about what it'd be like to have bile duct problems. That sounds pretty nasty. I just hope this doesn't have any lasting consequences for his health.

JaxonH

#55

JaxonH said:

Will keep Mr Iwata in my prayers. Such an awesome guy. Only CEO I've ever seen that doesn't act like a suit (probably because he isn't, he's a developer running the company he loves). And what a fantastic job he's done with Wii U lately. Love a guy humble enough to listen and address change. That's so rare nowadays

bezerker99

#59

bezerker99 said:

Glad to hear that it was detected "very early" and the surgery was a success! Get well soon, Iwata-san!

WinterWarm

#62

WinterWarm said:

Iwata's lying, he didn't go to a hospital, using his pure will, he evicted the illness, and now is waiting for his chakra to replenish.

Henmii

#64

Henmii said:

I am a bit shocked! I thought it was only a mental breakdown (wich is also terrible), but now it seems he has cancer (did I understand that correctly)?

Luckily it was in a very early phase, and I really hope he recovers soon. Maybe the stress became a bit to much?

Get well soon Iwata, and by the way: You rocked in that Super smash video! I can't think of any other CEO that promotes their product in this way! Very cool!

Gashole

#66

Gashole said:

I guess you could say that Iwata had... growing pains! Ba-dum-tisss!
Seriously though, folks, the guy's gonna get fired, anyway, so don't get your panties in a knot.

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