Tokyo − Nintendo released a one-sentence statement this weekend reporting the death of its president Satoru Iwata, after a year-long fight with cancer.
The statement read: "Nintendo Co., Ltd. deeply regrets to announce that President Satoru Iwata passed away on July 11, 2015 due to a bile duct growth."
Iwata joined Nintendo’s HAL Laboratory in the 1980s as a programmer, where he helped to develop some of Nintendo’s most memorable games, such as Super Smash Bros. He was elevated to president of HAL Laborator. He was named director of Nintendo in 2000, and named president in 2002, succeeding Hiroshi Yamauchi.
Under Iwata's watch Nintendo debuted the handheld Nintendo DS, the successful successor to the Game Boy, and the iconic Wii gaming system.
He was well known for his hands-on style of leadership and his many outreaches directly to Nintendo users, becoming a beloved figure to gaming fans around the world.
Senior managing directors Genyo Takeda and Shigeru Miyamoto will steer the company in the interim.