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Iwata questioned on personal accountability

As Nintendo anticipates another full-year loss, investors question leadership liability

The personal accountability of Nintendo president Satoru Iwata has been called into question for the first time after two years of financial under-performance at his company.

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Late in January, the company made a surprise change to its full year sales projections - removing its target for a healthy profit and instead estimating a £140 million operating loss for the full financial year.

In April 2012, Nintendo reported a net loss of £330 million for the year prior - its first financial year loss since it entered the console business - but promised that the business would return to profit by April.

Now, with Nintendo promising £685 million profit in the next (2014) financial year, investors and analysts have begun to question what actions should be taken if Nintendo misses its target again.

Speaking at an investor gathering in Kyoto last week, one investor asked:

"You are aiming for the operating profit of £685 million in the next fiscal year. Do you have a strategy in place if this fails? Will you take responsibility if you cannot accomplish it?"

It is believed that this is first time investors have brought Iwata's personal liability into question.

The Nintendo president replied: "First of all, this may not be a direct answer to your question, but it is my job to focus on how to accomplish this aim, rather than to think about what we should do if our aim cannot be accomplished.

"I believe my job is to establish as promising a situation as possible to accomplish this aim."

Iwata claimed it is vital to globally emulate the 3DS' success in Japan.

"So, the point is to launch several key titles seamlessly abroad to change the sales momentum of Nintendo 3DS itself, and then to create a cycle where hardware sales soar and its software sells well."

He added that, with regards to the Wii U, Nintendo "will promote our platform and aim to change the sales momentum dramatically".

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