“I do not understand video games and I feel angry.”
That was the opening gambit of one Nintendo shareholder at the company’s recent investor Q&A, during which some stern questions were asked of the absent Satoru Iwata – whose overall shareholder approval rating is up year-on-year.
“At Nintendo’s shareholders’ meetings, the shareholders always discuss things relating to video games or such childish topics as ‘what the future of video games should be,’” the investor added.
“I, for one, was flabbergasted that Mr Iwata continues to hold his position although he had said that he would resign if the company’s performance were bad.”
“The AGM is a place where we respond to the views expressed by shareholders, in order to discuss how we should develop the company from now on,” MD and GM of corporate analysis Tatsumi Kimishima responded.
“From that perspective, talking about the company’s business operations is very important and, at the same time, as an entertainment company, it is also very important for us to inform our shareholders about the kinds of entertainment Nintendo offers, including video game content.
“Therefore, as the shareholder has just commented, we are and will continue trying to thoroughly discuss our business operations, and we will continue to respond to questions from other shareholders regarding the kinds of entertainment we are challenging ourselves to offer. We appreciate your continued support of the company.”
“Except for Mr Iwata, who owns 6,700 shares,
the other directors also have only 100 or 200
shares each. I do not think such small stakes
in the company will give you incentive to do
your best, and I was wondering if you were
just working as salaried employees. Why do
you not increase the number of shares the
management team holds?”
Another shareholder went on to question the commitment of Nintendo’s top execs due to the fact that they hold so little personal stock.
“I have been a shareholder of Nintendo only since last year and I am a bit surprised by the fact that Mr Takeda, chairperson of this meeting, has no more than 200 shares of stock in this company,’ the investor demanded.
“Except for Mr Iwata, who owns 6,700 shares, the other directors also have only 100 or 200 shares each. I do not think such small stakes in the company will give you incentive to do your best, and I was wondering if you were just working as salaried employees. Why do you not increase the number of shares the management team holds?”
“We believe that there is no connection between the number of shares a director owns and the enthusiasm he has for company management,” said R&D boss Genyo Takeda. “I hope you will understand our resolve to improve our performance to return to profitability, regardless of the number of shares our management team holds. Thank you for your helpful comment.”
Another shareholder posed the idea that Iwata’s ill health is due to the burden of Nintendo’s poor performance in recent years.
“I see Mr Iwata is a very conscientious person,” the investor pondered. “He is so sincere that, in my view, he is trying to take on all of the things related to the company’s current situation by himself and I think it might have made him ill.
“I might be biased, but Mr Miyamoto seems more resilient and is better at taking everything in his stride. I hope Mr Iwata will take this advice and use it to make him a better president.”