Nintendo of America president and COO Reggie Fils-Aime, regarded by many as the amicable face of the company, is retiring. As the company announced today, Fils-Aime's last day will be April 15, 2019, after which senior marketing VP Doug Bowser will take his place.
"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."
Fils-Aime has been with Nintendo of America for nearly 16 years. Before he duked it out with late Nintendo president Satoru Iwata (opens in new tab) at E3 2014 and transformed himself into a puppet (opens in new tab) at E3 2015, he worked a relatively quiet position as the company's executive VP of sales and marketing. He played a major role in the expansion of Nintendo's western market, but I reckon fans will remember him for his refreshing public appearances, like his famed (and heavily memed) "The game is fun" (opens in new tab) speech.
As Bowser - that's Doug Bowser again, not Mario Bowser - assumes Fils-Aime's role, he says, "it has been my great fortune to work with and be mentored by Reggie for four years at Nintendo of America. 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."
I have to admit, it's kind of sad to see Fils-Aime go. He was always a class act at events and in interviews, and we may never see such a convincing puppet performance ever again.
Fils-Aime offered a nice goodbye in this short video:
Nintendo fans, Reggie has a message for all of you. Please take a look. pic.twitter.com/EAhaEl5oEJFebruary 21, 2019
Watch Fils-Aime honor Iwata's memory in his speech at The Game Awards 2015. (opens in new tab)