Ex-Nintendo Of America President Reggie Fils-Aimé Says Iwata’s Death Changed His Life
The charismatic former President of Nintendo of America Reggie Fils-Aimé has been touring America as he promotes his forthcoming book 'Disrupting the Game: From the Bronx to the Top of Nintendo'. In March, Fils-Aimé took the stage at South by Southwest (SXSW) in Austin, Texas to chat about his roots, his career at Nintendo, and what the passing of his mentor Satoru Iwata meant to him.
The former CEO of Nintendo, Iwata died seven years ago, and clearly left a huge impression on Fils-Aimé. In the full interview that took place at SXSW, which has been recently been uploaded to YouTube, the former executive shared more about his experiences and the impact the death of his Japanese boss and friend had on him.
"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 10 years. So when that happens, when that touches so close to the bone, it really creates a need for you to stop 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", Fils-Aimé said (with thanks to Nintendo Life).
Fils-Aimé eventually left Nintendo, and it sounds like his mentor's death led to some soul searching.
"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," he continued.
Fils-Aimé explained that he wanted to ensure the company was on the right path before he left, and made moves to put the right people in place to steer its future. It's a fascinating in-depth interview so the full video is well worth checking out, while Fils-Aimé's book could be an invaluable guide to Nintendo's history in America as well as his own personal story.
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