Satoru Iwata, the president of Nintendo, a famous computer game company in Japan, passed away on July 11, 2015, aged of 55.
He was reported as being suffering from bile duct tumor. However, it was only a few weeks ago that he attended a stockholders' meeting. His sudden death seems unexpected even for close people.
Iwata was a programmer. After being inaugurated to the President, he developed Nintendo DS and Wii, which were innovating and greatly successful game consoles. Recently, however, Nintendo is suffering from suppressed sales, partially due to the rise of smartphone applications as a strong competitor. Iwata planned to enter the market of smartphone apps.
Who take over Iwata has still to be determined. Shigeru Miyamoto, a director and the creator of "Super Mario Brothers," or another director, Genyo Takeda, the first game designer of Nintendo, may be nominated as the successor.
International Business Times: Shigeru Miyamoto: I am overcome with sadness at Satoru Iwata's sudden death
In my impression, Iwata was not a charismatic leader such as Steve Jobs. Instead, he understood the mind of engineers well. Recent products by Nintendo did not express the superiority of its technology, but they were user-friendly and attracted many people who had not been accustomed to computer games. I think Iwata was a well-balanced person.
Pray for Iwata. Nintendo will face a serious challenge.