Nintendo CEO's salary ranks low among game execs

Shareholder reports reveal Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata earns about US$2.1 million per year--far less than other game industry heads.

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While game publishers are often eager to let on how much revenue their big releases are bringing in, other monetary matters, such as company salaries, are not disclosed quite so vocally. However, a new report from Japanese newspaper the Asahi Shimbun has revealed the annual earnings of some of the country's top CEOs, including heads from game publisher Nintendo.

Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata's annual compensation is ¥187 million (US$2.1 million).
Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata's annual compensation is ¥187 million (US$2.1 million).

As detailed on Japanese gaming news site Andria Sang, Asahi posted a report this week following the regular shareholder meetings of many Japanese companies. Because Japanese companies are now required to indicate which of their board members receive an annual salary of over ¥100 million (US$1.13 million), the Asahi report revealed the income of Nintendo's top management.

Surprisingly, Nintendo's heads were not among the top-ranking income owners. In the report, Nintendo listed an annual salary of ¥187 million (US$2.1 million) for CEO Satoru Iwata, a figure that includes a ¥68 million (US$767,313) base salary, with the rest awarded based on performance.

A group of six Nintendo board members--including Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto--share an earnings bonus pool of ¥100 million per year (US$1.13 million) on top of their annual salaries.

The original source also lists a salary comparison to other game company heads. Sega Sammy Holdings CEO Osamu Satomi earns ¥435 million a year (US$4.9 million); Sony CEO Howard Stringer earns ¥816.5 million a year (US$9.2 million), while Sony CFO Nobuyuki Oneda earns ¥164.39 million a year (US$1.85 million); Namco Bandai Holdings president Kazunori Ueno earns ¥137 million a year (US$1.5 million); and Square Enix CEO Yoichi Wada earns ¥240 million a year (US$2.7 million).

Meanwhile in the US, Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick received US$3,151,008 in compensation, as well as netting nearly US$40 million from stock sales.

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