The Japanese gaming giant Nintendo released a short statement confirming Satoru Iwata, loved CEO unfortunately passed away due to a bile duct growth. Mr Iwata had been battling a growth discovered on his bile duct for the last few years, which is the reason for his absence at E3. He had surgery to remove a tumor, returning to the company later in 2014.
“Nintendo Co., Ltd. deeply regrets to announce that President Satoru Iwata sadly passed away on July 11, 2015 due to a bile duct growth,” the company said.
Mr Iwata began working at Nintendo in the 1980s as a programmer, he played a big part in Kirby’s hit success. He became the director of the company in 2000 and was appointed President of Nintendo a few years later which oversaw the launch of the Nintendo DS, 3DS, Wii and Wii U.
Before his death Mr Iwata had been pushing away their trend of consoles-only policy, in a bid to repair the tech company’s balance sheet. Last year he stated that he would slash his salary in half for several months to make up for the downturn at Nintendo, which has struggled against rivals such as Sony and Microsoft who have been outpacing Nintendo in console sales.
Nintendo have yet to decide who the next president will be. But in the meantime, Genyo Takeda and Shigeru Miyamoto will take the helm.
Thank you for everything Satoru Iwata, Rest in peace.