Although the CEO underwent surgery last year, his health had worsened in recent days.
Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata has died. In a short statement released today, the Japanese consumer electronics and gaming company said that Mr. Iwata passed away on July 11th, after a battle with bile duct growth, a rare cancer that begins in the lining of the bile duct. Satoru Iwata was 55 years old.
Nintendo's statement: "Nintendo Co., Ltd. deeply regrets to announce that President Satoru Iwata passed away on July 11, 2015 due to a bile duct growth."
Born on December 6, 1959, Satoru Iwata was the first Nintendo president unrelated to the Yamauchi family. He started as a programmer at HAL Laboratory and joined Nintendo in June 2000. Two years later, he was appointed president of the company. In June 2013, he was appointed CEO of Nintendo of America.
Mr. Iwata was named one of the world’s top CEOs by Barron’s Magazine. During his term, Nintendo’s stock price skyrocketed due to the massive sales of the company’s Wii game console. Apart from spearheading the creation of the Wii console, Iwata is also responsible for the development of the classic GameCube console.
Word about his poor health was heard first last year, when Iwata skipped the annual E3 game conference at the advice of his physician. He later revealed that he underwent surgery to remove a tumor in his bile duct.
“I had surgery last week, and I came through it well, as predicted,” Iwata said. “I have already resumed my business by email and by other means, but it is anticipated that a little more time is needed for me to return to my regular work schedule.”
He will be missed.
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