Buried within Nintendo's financial reports today are some interesting details on changes at a management and board room level; they suggest that Tatsumi Kimishima is keen to restructure the business and make his mark.
Nintendo is introducing an Audit and Supervisory Committee and an Executive Officer System. The first of those will consist of a majority of 'Outside' Directors, who are from external sources and have the aim of improving auditing and corporate governance.
The Executive Officer system, however, affects some notable figureheads. First of all, below is Nintendo's explanation for the move.
(1) Reason for Introduction - By separating the management decision-making and supervisory functions from the execution of operations and accelerating the delegation of authority to execute operations, the Company aims to clarify the responsibility for the execution of operations and establish a more flexible management structure which can appropriately and swiftly respond to the rapidly changing business environment.
(2) Outline of System - Executive Officers will be appointed by the resolution of the Board of Directors. -A Director may act concurrently as an Executive Officer. - Executive Officers will hold their office for one year and may be reappointed.
Of note is the fact that Reggie Fils-Aime and Satoru Shibata (currently Presidents of Nintendo of America and Nintendo of Europe) will fall under this system. In the proposed new management structure they come low down in the pecking order - the following is from Nintendo's financial report:
- Representative Director, President Tatsumi Kimishima
- Representative Director, Technology Fellow, Genyo Takeda
- Representative Director, Creative Fellow, Shigeru Miyamoto
- Director, Managing Executive Officer, Shinya Takahashi (General Manager, Entertainment Planning & Development Division Supervisor of Business Development Division, Development Administration & Support Division)
- Director, Managing Executive Officer, Shuntaro Furukawa (General Manager, Corporate Planning Department In charge of Corporate Analysis & Administration Division)
- Director as an Audit and Supervisory Committee member, Naoki Noguchi
- Outside Director as an Audit and Supervisory Committee member, Naoki Mizutani
- Outside Director as an Audit and Supervisory Committee member, Yoshimi Mitamura
- Outside Director as an Audit and Supervisory Committee member, Katsuhiro Umeyama
- Senior Executive Officer, Shigeyuki Takahashi (General Manager, Finance Administration Division Supervisor of General Affairs Division In charge of Quality Assurance Department)
- Senior Executive Officer, Satoshi Yamato (General Manager, Marketing Division In charge of Advertising Department)
- Senior Executive Officer, Susumu Tanaka (General Manager, Licensing Division)
- Senior Executive Officer, Hirokazu Shinshi (General Manager, Manufacturing Division)
- Executive Officer, Ko Shiota (General Manager, Platform Technology Development Division)
- Executive Officer, Satoru Shibata (President, Nintendo of Europe GmbH)
- Executive Officer, Reginald Fils-Aimé (President, Nintendo of America Inc.)
It's relatively difficult to surmise how this will change - if at all - the internal management processes of Nintendo. What it does do, though, is demonstrate the pecking order within the company - it's arguably been common knowledge that the managerial lead is taken in Nintendo's Kyoto HQ, but the positioning of Shibata-san and Mr Fils-Aime does seem rather telling in reinforcing that perspective.
Let us know what you make of this in the comments.