Former Nintendo President Hiroshi Yamauchi Dead at 85

Posted by at 10:51 am on September 19, 2013

MORISHITA YAMAUCHISad news out of Japan today, as the Nikkei is reporting that Nintendo’s third president, Hiroshi Yamauchi, has died at the age of 85. Yamauchi died of complications of pneumonia in a hospital in central Japan and funeral services for the former president will be held on Sunday. A spokesperson for Nintendo has stated the company is in mourning over the loss of its former president.

Yamauchi presided over Nintendo through the launch of the NES, SNES, Nintendo 64, and the Nintendo GameCube before he was succeeded by current president Satoru Iwata. After stepping down in 2005, Yamauchi refused his retirement pension rumored to be worth around $9 to $14 million dollars, claiming that Nintendo could put it to better use inside of the company. He owned an estimated 10 percent of Nintendo’s worldwide holdings.

Yamauchi also held a 55 percent stake in a Mariners club he purchased back in 1992, along with a group of minority investors from the Seattle area. Prior to that purchase, it appeared as if the team was about to be offered to a group looking to relocate it to St. Petersburg, Fla.

“Mr. Yamauchi deserves unending thanks for his key role in saving baseball in Seattle,” Mariners minority investor Buck Ferguson said this morning.

Back in 2004, Yamauchi transferred control of his majority shares to Redmond-based Nintendo of America for estate planning purposes, but retained titular control of the ballclub. Mariners officials have insisted that all major decisions had to be run by him first.

We here at Takes on Tech would like to extend our heart-felt thanks to Yamauchi-san for all he did as the president of Nintendo and for saving the Seattle Mariners.

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