The Verge: Satoru Iwata, who lost his battle with cancer over the weekend at the age of 55, was the very best kind of CEO. Invested in Nintendo’s history from his time as a star programmer, Iwata rose up the ranks to take command at a young age and usher in one of the most dramatic transformations ever seen from a Japanese company. His vision upended and expanded the video game market, bringing years of astonishing profit to Nintendo with the DS and Wii. But more importantly, he made countless people happy.
This afternoon I went down to the company’s headquarters, situated in a nondescript Kyoto suburb peppered with run-down garages and overgrown playgrounds. A forlorn employee made her way through the gate, wiping a tear from her cheek, and as I saw the Nintendo flag flying at half-mast I was hit by a tidal wave of sorrow. For any other company, for any other president or CEO, I wouldn’t have felt this way. But Satoru Iwata was more than just a CEO to many. He was an architect and steward of memories; I’ll be forever thankful.