Nintendo Of America President Reggie Fils-Aime Is Retiring; Doug Bowser To Take Over
His body is ready for a break.
Reggie Fils-Aime, the longtime president and COO of Nintendo of America, will retire this spring, he and the company announced in a joint statement on Thursday. Taking over his role will be the company's current senior vice president of sales and marketing, Doug Bowser, a man whose name requires a "yes, really" after every mention.
Fils-Aime has been in this role for more than a decade, having gotten the job in May 2006 following a three-year stint as the executive VP of sales and marketing. He has effectively served as the company's face in North American territories for much of his tenure as president; he's often seen in Nintendo Direct streams and was often the primary presenter back when the company did live E3 media briefings. Fils-Aime stood out both due to his Terminator-like stature and meme-friendly antics, like when he danced in an attempt to convince a western audience to take notice of Yo-Kai Watch.
"Nintendo owns a part of my heart forever," Fils-Aime said in a press release revealing his departure. "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."
In addition to that message, Nintendo shared a video from Fils-Aime on Twitter in which he thanks fans for their support. "I wanted to reach out directly to you, the Nintendo community, because there's one thing I really want to say: thank you," Fils-Aime said. "Thank you for your never-ending support, and for your passionate love of Nintendo. And personally, for giving me a Mushroom Kingdom full of incredible memories that I will never forget, ever." In addition to this, there's also been an outpouring of well-wishes on Twitter from various members of the games industry.
Nintendo fans, Reggie has a message for all of you. Please take a look. pic.twitter.com/EAhaEl5oEJ— Nintendo of America (@NintendoAmerica) February 21, 2019
"I really appreciate everything Reggie has done for Nintendo," said Nintendo president Shuntaro Furukawa. "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."
Fils-Aime will officially step down on April 15, at which point Bowser will assume the title of president of Nintendo of America. Prior to his current position at Nintendo, he worked for EA. When he was first hired at Nintendo, he tweeted an image offering his thanks but--with a nod toward his surname--Mario and Luigi plushes discreetly tied up in the background.
Bowser also had a comment to share in the press release regarding Fils-Aime's retirement. "It has been my great fortune to work with and be mentored by Reggie for four years at Nintendo of America," he said, before going on to menacingly promise, "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."