Satoru Iwata was born in Sapporo, Japan on December 6, 1959 and is the current president and CEO of Nintendo Co., Ltd.

Satoru Iwata, George Harrison, and Shigeru Miyamoto at E3 2003 on Paul Gale Network
E3 2003: Satoru Iwata, George Harrirson, Shigeru Miyamoto, and Paul Gale

Being president of a company as large as Nintendo isn’t just a task for anybody to handle…in fact, Iwata is only the company’s 4th president ever, 2nd since the inception of video games, and 1st that’s not in the Yamauchi family line. When I first met Satoru Iwata, it was after E3 2003 had finished, and I was talking with Shigeru Miyamoto at Nintendo’s booth. It was my friend Rich Amtower that introduced Shiggy to me, and then Miyamoto who introduced me to George Harrison and Iwata. The first thing I told Satoru was, “congratulations on your new role and for Nintendo’s performance at E3 this year”. He was very appreciative of my comment and from there we spoke well past the show had ended.

E3 2005: Satoru Iwata and Shigeru Miyamoto on Paul Gale Network
E3 2005: Satoru Iwata, Shigeru Miyamoto, and Paul Gale

For Nintendo’s top dog, head honcho, and president to spend extra time with me when E3 was over and actually want to know my opinions on their booth, in addition to what the rest of the expo offered…was greatly appreciated. During the next couple of years, Iwata continued to be very pleasant whenever we’d meet and it’d be at E3 2005 that when walking with my friend Nael, Iwata and Miyamoto both stopped to take time out of their busy schedules to catch up, do an interview, and happily take a new picture.

Satoru is the nicest man in his position that I’ve ever met at a company, and the thing I value about him most is that he really cares about his fans. Do you think that most CEO’s are as humble and talkative to his or her company’s followers? I’d be willing to bet not…all the more reason why Iwata is pretty special. He always takes the time to talk when he can, even if there’s no time for a picture. I recall E3 2010, he was heading for an international meeting, but still gave me a few minutes to chat. I’ll always respect the man for leading Nintendo the way he does, right down to even being receptive of one of my projects that I proposed to him.

Satoru, thank you for all that you do in this industry, for continuing to bring new technology to the market, and for still being my friend for close to a decade. I wish you the best in health, happiness, and success in your future. Here is to meeting up again at E3 2011 and seeing what Nintendo has in store.

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