Nintendo President Satoru Iwata was unable to attend this year’s E3 conference due to an unspecified health concern. Announced today via a letter from Iwata himself, we now know what that concern was, and that it will cause him to miss the Annual General Meeting of Shareholders as well. While this is unfortunate, it seems that the health problem has been resolved and Iwata is recovering well, simply needing more time to get back to full strength.
I had surgery last week, and I came through it well, as predicted
In the letter Iwata shares what the original health concern was, and how it was dealt with. “Recently, as the result of one of my routine physical examinations, an issue was detected. Following a more detailed examination, a growth was found in my bile duct. In general, it is said that a bile duct growth can be difficult-to-treat, partly because of the difficulty of detecting it early. In my case, luckily, it was detected very early and I had no symptoms. I was counseled that removal at an early stage would be the desirable medical option. Therefore I had surgery last week, and I came through it well, as predicted.”
Apparently his work at Nintendo has already resumed, albeit remotely via email and “other means”. He will need to miss the meeting, but that is only because he needs “a little more time” to return to work full-time. Iwata expresses regret for missing the meeting, but I think the shareholders would agree that his health should be the top concern.
“As the president of the company, I regret that I cannot attend the meeting,” Iwata writes. “However, I understand that I have to prioritize my medical treatment and to recover as soon as possible so that I will again be able to do my best to help the company to grow. I hope that you understand.”