Shibata has been president of Nintendo of Europe for 18 years and Nintendo’s executive officer for two years. He will leave NOE shortly after the June 28 meeting, Nintendo told Variety via email. He also joined the Pokémon Company as an outside director in May.
“Mr. Satoru Shibata has gained extensive business experience in overseas marketing, successively served as the president of overseas subsidiaries, and has a thorough understanding of company management,” Nintendo said. “We request his election as a new director based on our judgment that he will enhance the decision-making and supervisory functions of the Board of Directors and contribute to the improvement of corporate value.”
If elected, Shibata will replace Nintendo president Tatsumi Kimishima, who announced his retirement in April. Kimishima took on the role of president in 2015 following the death of Satoru Iwata and oversaw the launch of the Nintendo Switch in March 2017. The Switch was a big success for the company this past fiscal year, selling more than 15 million units. Nintendo believes it can sell 20 million more of the hybrid home/handheld console this year.
The other four board nominees are all current members up for re-election, including incoming Nintendo president Shuntaro Furukawa, managing executive officer Shinya Takahashi, senior executive officer Ko Shiota, and representative director Shigeru Miyamoto. Many have speculated for years that Miyamoto, now 65, would retire soon. While he’s expressed a desire to let younger creatives have greater roles at the company, it appears he still has no intention of stepping down.
Edit — Previously, Variety said Mr. Shibata formerly worked at NOE, but he is still with the company at this time.