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Nintendo of America’s Reggie Fils-Aime to Retire: Doug Bowser Named New President

REDMOND, Wash.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- After more than 15 notable years at Nintendo of America, and nearly 13 as its President and COO, Reggie Fils-Aime will retire. His last day with Nintendo will be April 15. Doug Bowser, NOA’s current Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing, will then succeed Reggie as President of Nintendo of America.

“I really appreciate everything Reggie has done for Nintendo,” said Shuntaro Furukawa, President of Nintendo Co., Ltd. “Inside and outside our company, Reggie is known as an exceptional leader. We are grateful that he is leaving the business in good shape with strong momentum. While we will miss him and we wish him the very best in his retirement, we are also pleased to have such an able successor ready to step into that role. Doug Bowser and the rest of the team will ensure a seamless transition and continued momentum for Nintendo.”

“Nintendo owns a part of my heart forever,” Fils-Aime said. “It’s a part that is filled with gratitude – for the incredibly talented people I’ve worked with, for the opportunity to represent such a wonderful brand, and most of all, to feel like a member of the world’s most positive and enduring gamer community. As I look forward to departing in both good health and good humor, this is not ‘game over’ for me, but instead ‘leveling up’ to more time with my wife, family and friends.”

“It has been my great fortune to work with and be mentored by Reggie for four years at Nintendo of America,” Bowser said. “And rest assured, we will continue to build on his work to evolve and expand our brand, furthering Nintendo’s global mission of creating smiles. There are millions more of those to come.”

Fils-Aime started at Nintendo of America in 2003 as its Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing and became its President and COO in May 2006. His time with Nintendo began during the Nintendo GameCube and Game Boy Advance era. His leadership of Nintendo’s largest territory expanded the audience for Nintendo products as phenomena like Nintendogs, Brain Age, Wii Sports and Wii Fit brought millions of new players to the world of video games. Fils-Aime’s management led to record-breaking sales for products like the Nintendo DS, Wii, Nintendo 3DS and Nintendo Switch systems. At the same time, he communicated innovative new product features to a mass audience via his strong and affable personality, making him a favorite of media, members of the video game industry and Nintendo fans alike.

During his tenure, Nintendo of America has expanded its physical presence in the U.S., having established a key sales and marketing office in Redwood City, California, and built a new NOA headquarters in Redmond, Washington, that has received awards for its environmentally friendly design.

Bowser is an industry veteran who joined NOA in May 2015 as the Vice President of Sales before being promoted to Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing the next year. During his time at NOA, Bowser led the sales and marketing efforts for Nintendo Switch, which became the fastest-selling video game system of this hardware generation through 21 months, according to The NPD Group. Previously, Bowser was an executive with industry powerhouse Electronic Arts, most recently as the company’s Vice President of Global Business Planning. He also worked at Procter & Gamble in various sales leadership roles in Asia, Latin America and the U.S.

Tags: reggie

Comments

Top Rated Comment
spectrix
Thu Feb 21 19 02:20pm
Rating: 10

My body was not ready for this.

Nooooo! This is gutting news!

sligeach_eire
Thu Feb 21 19 02:14pm
Rating: 2 (Updated 1 time)

Well that's surprising. He's not that old and when you look at the Japanese executives are far older. I won't miss him, he was great at first but I find him highly annoying with how he twists and lies about facts.

Yeah, I think it's an unpopular opinion, but I don't like Reggie either. I wish him well, obviously, but he has an air of smarminess that I never got used to.

groose
Fri Feb 22 19 01:30am
Rating: 1

I find him highly annoying with how he twists and lies about facts.

It's not nice to make negative assertions about people without backing them up.

The internet is out there, I don't need to cite examples, but to keep you happy, here's one:

https://www.gamesradar.com/reggie-fils-aime-says-3rd-party-games-call-duty-look-dramatically-better-wii-u/

Or this one:

http://www.vgchartz.com/article/259678/reggie-we-dont-announce-games-5-or-6-years-in-advance-like-other-companies/

Metroid Prime 4 says "Hello!". There's plenty of examples, you should be able to find them yourself.

t27duck
Fri Feb 22 19 06:14am
Rating: 1

Don't forget the most recent icing on the cake regarding the Switch (Paraphrased): "No more friend codes"

WHAT!? NO! NOT BOWSER!

moneyhead64
Thu Feb 21 19 02:16pm
Rating: 1

That last paragraph is hilarious. :p

spectrix
Thu Feb 21 19 02:20pm
Rating: 10

My body was not ready for this.

Aw man, this sucks! Reggie was one of the most likable guys in the industry! We're going to miss you, Reggie! I hope we'll get to see you again at some point! This is truly going to be a new era for Nintendo. I hope these new guys can live up to the legacy left by their superiors.

Aw that's a shame but with that being said, 15 years is a pretty solid run but that's just me.

eddie
Thu Feb 21 19 02:27pm
(Updated 1 time)

I hope Doug keeps the "play anywhere, anytime, and with anyone" philosophy going strong because I thoroughly enjoy the local co-op part of it.

grcpan
Thu Feb 21 19 02:29pm
Rating: 1 (Updated 1 time)

Best of luck to Reggie in the future and best of luck to Doug Bowser as well in his new position.

These are sad news for me and I guess many other fans. Reggie was very iconic for the company, he has a very special charisma. I think the reason for his retirement alone shows what a great person he is.

mystikoi
Thu Feb 21 19 02:30pm
Rating: 4 (Updated 2 times)

Seriously though, I’m going to miss Reggie a ton. But based how stellar sales and marketing have been for the Switch so far in America, Doug Bowser seems like he knows his stuff. Hopefully he can do a good job filling Reggie’s giant, lovable, goofy, meme-filled shoes.

It's sad to see him leaving. For a president, he was really cool with how he interacted with fans.

On the other hand, Bowser's history with marketing should be pretty good news for NoA with him as president. I can't wait for all the "Bowser is president of NoA" memes to start.

Sucks and a bit surprising. Though I felt something like this might've been coming for awhile due to Reggie's lack of a presence in Directs/promo videos as well as lately looking very tired and worn. I wish him the best in his retirement.

I had a love/hate relationship with Reggie. Obviously I don't know him personally, so I'm just talking about what I see of him from interviews at media events.

As likeable as the guy is, it was always so clear that Nintendo of Japan is pulling the strings and Reggie is just their puppet, because it seemed so rare that he could ever give a straight answer on anything in interviews at E3 or other gaming events. He seemed to do better at interviews by people not in the games media, but they don't ask the questions I would care about hearing the answer to.

It's the end of an era to be sure. Reggie will be missed dearly by the fans. However, Doug Bowser is a great choice for a successor, so I think we will be in good hands.

My Bowser is ready!

Thanks Reggie. Enjoy the retirement.

Reggie brought some well needed character into Nintendo during Iwata’s early years as president. Before that, you knew no one that worked for NOA, aside from Bill who was normally “the white dude who translated for Miyamoto” during interviews. With the rise of the internet, he created a presence that wasn’t like anything else, and it also helps that the guy is big and intimidating to the unknown. It’s sad to see him go, but retiring in your mid 50’s to see a family I bet he hasn’t seen often due to work is too much to pass up.

That being said, I’ve met Doug Bowser a few times, and the guy is energetic and approachable on top of experienced. He’s also appreciative and likes the fans a lot, and still has a soft spot for EA. He’s done a lot of fun with the Bowser name since starting at Nintendo, with keynotes filled with plastered Bowser and Koopaling vectors and making fun of Mario. Though Directs have a fixed delivery method now, I am excited to see if he does some silly stuff for E3 or something.

lylatroid
Thu Feb 21 19 03:18pm
Rating: 1

Reggie deserves to be with his family. I’ll miss him. I hope Bowser (Not Mario’s enemy) is as good as Reggie.

I will miss Reggie. He did a lot of good for Nintendo and presented himself well in the directs and at E3. He seemed to take few names and kick fewer asses toward the end, but that's probably just because we just saw less of him.

I'm hoping Bowser is ready to fight for as many localizations of Japanese games as possible, and as uncensored as possible. Who knows, maybe he'll convince the folks in Japan to send over some games we never thought we'd get.

You know, Reggie could be a bit too corporate sometimes, but that was also his job. He couldn't just spill secrets or tell people news they wanted, if the company didn't want things to be known. I really don't get the Reggie hate some people seem to have. Yes, the Wii U was a disaster, and that rested largely on its laughably bad NA marketing.

But his successes far outweigh that failure, with DS, Wii, 3DS, and Switch all being major successes, in significant part thanks to him. He was a good/fun personality, and an important part of Nintendo history. He's no Iwata, but no one is. He always struck me as someone who genuinely cared about the product he was selling, as well as the fans. I believe him when he says he was a Nintendo gamer in the past, because his enthusiasm for the product has always shined through.

Regardless, I think he's earned his retirement, even if it is surprising. Its the retirement Iwata deserved to have. And hopefully this Bowser guy lives up to his ironic name, and has a long reign as NOA Prez as well.

I'll never forget the Wii U launch at Nintendo NY (my wife and I are interviewed in the YouTube video back to back) I got to meet Reggie and I asked him "Hey Reggie when's mother 3?' he replied "not now, but maybe someday". While shaking my hand. Dude was huge, but kind. I wish him the best.

I like Doug Bowser too, so hopefully he can continue Reggie s run of success

Reggie, You were a master of interviews and media stories. You could waltz your way through any and all situations. You were a hero of the common fan and a voice of the company. We will definitely miss you. Here's to more of your public transparency for the rest of the industry to follow. This interview with Engadget is a great example https://www.engadget.com/2006/02/20/the-engadget-interview-reggie-fils-aime-executive-vice-preside/

Reggie was always a nice guy, even though I wished NCL would let him have more leeway than just following their orders even if it made no sense.

Doug is an amazing guy as well. I tweeted to him on Twitter a few times and he’s been very nice and kind, so he’s pretty much the perfect successor. I shudder to think of an alternate future where Doug didn’t join Nintendo, and instead we had Scott Moffit as the new president...

Yeah, that wouldn’t be so good

Jeez WHAT? This was something I was not expecting to happen in 2019. I'm gonna miss Reggie. I started really getting into Nintendo in the mid 2000s, like around 2004 (yeah, I know, I'm late), so Reggie has always been there as someone who would spring to mind when I would think of important Nintendo figures. I had no clue he was gonna move on from Nintendo this soon, I would've expected it would've been at least five years from now at the minimum. But alas, I wish him the best in this new chapter of his life. I'm sure his family will appreciate having him around more.

I was thinking Geoff might not be able to take the news of losing his industry gaming bro, but then I remembered Kojima has entered his life and swept him off his feet. 😄

giant_reggie
Thu Feb 21 19 07:24pm
Rating: 3

I may be retiring from Nintendo, but I am not retiring from GoNintendo. Keep your bodies Reggie everyone!

Damn. I can't believe he's leaving and he doesn't look that old.

I'll miss him and his memes. May he live a happy life as a Nintendo fan.

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