Reggie Fils-Aimé - the famed ex-President of Nintendo of America - is currently working to promote his upcoming book, Disrupting the Game: From the Bronx to the Top of Nintendo. Last month, Reggie took to the stage at South by Southwest (SXSW) in Austin, Texas to discuss his upbringing, his time at Nintendo, and the impact Satoru Iwata's death had on him.
You can now check out the full interview in the video above, but we thought we'd share one of the more interesting tidbits regarding Iwata's death. Reggie shared some background on how the passing of Nintendo's CEO affected his decision to ultimately leave the company:
So my boss, my mentor, my friend, Satoru Iwata passed away in 2015. He and I were just about the same age and he passed away from a form of cancer, and you know, he and I had worked together at that point for over ten years. So when that happens, when that touches so close to the bone, it really creates a need for you to step and evaluate - "what am I doing, am I having fun, am I doing things that are really fulfilling" - and I was having a lot of fun at Nintendo, but I wanted to do more.
I wanted to share my learnings on a much broader stage - like this - I wanted to help young executives go on their own pathway, I wanted to do board service, I wanted to spend more time with Cornell (University). When you're running a company - Nintendo of America was the biggest part of global Nintendo, half of the sales and profits - when you're running the company, you can't do all of those things.
Reggie went on to clarify that he needed the company to be on a positive path ahead of his departure, along with ensuring that great people were in place to steer the company forward.
It's well worth checking out the full interview when you can; Reggie's views on Meta (which we've covered before) are damning, but he's full of optimism for smaller companies that he believes will drive innovation for the industry going forwards.
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Let us know in the comments below what you make of Reggie's interview at SXSW.
The death of someone close to you tends to have that effect. He seems to be doing well, tbh.
I still wish he hadn't left Nintendo.
Reggie is a phenomenal executive
Smart words as ever from Reggie.
More cynically does he have a book out or something? Seems to be doing the press rounds a lot right now /jk
@IronMan30 sounds like it played a part in his decision. He has other goals in mind, so I hope he achieves them.
"Nintendo of America was the biggest part of global Nintendo, half of the sales and profits"
Interesting, if not entirely surprising.
wanting to help young executives sounds so weird to me
"I was having a lot of fun at Nintendo, but I wanted to do more."
Man. I wish I could do or say that.
"It's well worth checking out the full interview when you can; Reggie's views on Meta (which we've covered before) are damning, but he's full of optimism for smaller companies that he believes will drive innovation for the industry going forwards."
Suggestion of a different version of this part of this article:
It's well worth checking out the full interview when you can; including Reggie's views on a certain Meta (which we've covered before).
I didn't realize they were the same age. Suddenly it all makes more sense
I miss both of them
I hope this doesn’t sound pretentious, but I can relate to Reggie’s “help young executives” quote. I’ve never met Reggie and I’m certain I never came close to having the managerial talent or people skills to have the impact that Reggie did, but I did work at Nintendo when it was having a very positive impact on a generation of players and I tell myself that I was responsible in some very small part for that. So I may I know we’re Reggie is coming from. 1. Working in entertainment is a soulfully rewarding career - not to say it’s all roses - it certainly wasn’t for me(!) But knowing that your efforts do/did have a positive impact on people’s joy is very powerful, especially when those efforts, no matter how small (as was my case) touch(ed) so many. 2. The “young executives” piece may refer to the desire to enable others looking forward (versus back) on their careers to avoid some of the many pains and heartaches while experiencing the soulful rewards that comes from doing, enabling, and supporting good work. It makes me smile to hear Reggie is personally in this space - it reveals a sense of gratitude in him that I wish upon all…
Honestly, him leaving Nintendo was the right thing for both himself and for the company. Clearly his heart wasn't in it anymore after Iwata-san passed away and understandably so. So he did himself and the company a massive solid when he stepped down. Hope he does okay where he is now either way and for Nintendo to continue to be the unstoppable juggernaut that it has been for the last 5 years with the best system they have had since the SNES.
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