President Satoru Iwata has passed away at the age of 55. Nintendo released the following notification of death.
“Nintendo Co., Ltd. deeply regrets to announce that President Satoru Iwata passed away on July 11, 2015 due to a bile duct growth.”
Nintendo added that Genyo Takeda (Representative Director; Senior Managing Director) and Shigeru Miyamoto (Representative Director; Senior Managing Director) will jointly run the company until a new President is selected.
Mr. Iwata had been battling the growth on his bile duct the last few years and had to miss last year’s E3 because of his health. In June of 2014, he wrote: “In general, it is said that a bile duct growth can be difficult-to-treat, partly because of the difficulty of detecting it early. In my case, luckily, it was detected very early and I had no symptoms. I was counseled that removal at an early stage would be the desirable medical option. Therefore I had surgery last week, and I came through it well, as predicted.”
Mr. Iwata began working at Nintendo in the 1980s as a programmer at the HAL Laboratory, which developed the Kirby and Super Smash Bros. franchises. He became President of the company in 2002 and oversaw the launches of the GameCube, Nintendo DS, Nintendo 3DS, Wii and the most recent Wii U.