Shuntaro Furukawa has been steering the good ship Nintendo for awhile now, and he seems to be doing quite a great job. There's no doubt he's doing some things his own way, but he's also carving that path by remembering the leadership tips he received from former top brass.
In an interview with Nikkei, Mr. Furukawa talks about what he learned from Nintendo's previous leaders, and how he uses that going forward. Check out the translation of his comments below, courtesy of NintendoEverything.
Regrettably, I never spoke directly with Mr. Yamauchi. However, I’ve heard all about Yamauchi’s philosophy from Iwata and his successor Mr. Kimishima. At management policy briefings, I say “Entertainment is valuable because it’s different to other things [we do in life]”, but these are Yamauchi’s words. He laid out a universal way of thinking for us which is the foundation of the current Nintendo.
Mr. Iwata took over that and left a lot of people in the company who could take initiative and think for themselves. I had many opportunities to work with Mr. Iwata when I was assigned overseas and learned a lot by consulting with him and getting guidance from abroad.
I learnt all sorts of things from Mr. Iwata, but it’s best I refrain from mentioning specifics. He didn’t like the fact there are people still at Nintendo who say “I learned this from Mr. Iwata.” We’re confident that Iwata himself wouldn’t approve of that, so that’s why we keep that close to our hearts.
Mr. Iwata’s successor, Mr. Kimishima, took over as president in the emergency state following Iwata’s sudden death. He worked on changing the way the company works so that it can be run without Iwata’s charisma. My plan is to proceed down that route.
We are still taking through the group leadership that we introduced after Mr. Yamauchi retired. There are both hardware developers and software developers in the management team, so I don’t do development at all. I simply enjoy the games and leave it to the people in charge to judge whether it’s good or bad.
The core principles behind our finances are to ensure the company continues. I’ve been in the game console business for over 30 years, and with good times also comes the bad. As the times change, our management will make level-headed decisions, changing what needs to be changed in the company.