On Friday, Nintendo said goodbye to its executive vice
president of sales & marketing with a Princess Peach-adorned cake and the
entire staff wearing masks with her Mii’s visage on it. On Monday, Cammie Dunaway starts
her new job as U.S. President and Global Chief Marketing Officer for KidZania.
If you haven’t heard of the company before, don’t worry.
You’re not alone. While KidZania has eight ocations around the world (including
Mexico, Japan and Dubai), it hasn’t hit U.S. shores yet. That’s something
Dunaway’s going to change.
The company creates theme parks, of sorts, where children 14
and under run a kid-sized city, complete with streets, buildings, businesses,
vehicles and more. Dunaway will identify multiple locations for the company in the U.S.
and launch an online presence for it as well. The first park should be open
within three years.
“It was a difficult decision,” says Dunaway. “Nintendo is an
amazing company and with a product like the 3DS on the horizon, it took
something pretty compelling to get me out of here. I believe this role is a
culmination of all the work I’ve done in the kid’s space.”
Dunaway took some fire during her tenure at Nintendo from
gamers, but helped the company launch and expand some key products, including
“Wii Fit,” which became a phenomenon. She says she plans to take what she has
learned at Nintendo with her to KidZania.
“It has been better than I could have expected,” she says.
“I learned so many lessons about focusing on the long term and the importance
of innovation an quality. … I have no regrets at all. It was a wonderful ride.”
Even that infamous E3 press event where she rode a virtual
snowboard with Shawn White?
“Shawn White was great!” she laughs. “How many people get a
chance to do that?”