Nintendo closes offices in California and Toronto

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Mario, Peach, Donkey Kong, and the rest of Nintendo's core cast in the Switch version of Mario Party.

Picture: Nintendo

Nintendo has closed its California office today, displacing around 100 employees, sources say Kotaku.

The Redwood City site was one of the three main offices of Nintendo of America, headquartered in Redmond, Washington. Sources tell Kotaku the shutdown included the resignation of senior vice president of sales and marketing Nick Chavez, who earlier announced Friday via LinkedIn that he would join Kentucky Fried Chicken to help them keep growing Yum! Brands.

The senior vice president position was previously held by Doug Bowser, who was promoted Nintendo of America president after Reggie Fils-Aime resigned in 2019.

Nintendo did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Updated: 10/29/21, 7:20 p.m. ET: Nintendo of America has confirmed that it will also close its Toronto office. Here is the full statement:

Nintendo of America’s corporate headquarters are in Redmond, WA, and Vancouver, BC. We are moving more of our employees and operations to these headquarters and will be closing small satellite offices in Toronto, Ontario, and Redwood City, California over time.

Devon Pritchard, Executive Vice President, Commercial Affairs and Publisher Relations for Nintendo of America (NOA), will assume interim leadership of sales, marketing and communications following the departure of Nick Chavez. Ms. Pritchard will oversee the strategy and execution of sales, marketing and communications in the United States and Canada.

Read more: How Reggie Fils-Aime Became a Nintendo Legend

According to Nintendo, the Redwood offices housed the sales and marketing departments, as well as a dedicated field team working with retail stores across the country. Video Documentation desks in 2012 showed Redwood’s rooms teeming with stuffed animals and toys from Nintendo’s main characters.

While it’s not yet clear what prompted Nintendo to shut down the office, a source said Kotaku that many now displaced staff were upset by the decision.

Closures and restructuring of all kinds are rare for Nintendo. The company reduces its branch in South Korea in 2016, and restructured Nintendo of Europe in 2014, which ultimately led to more than 300 people made redundant. Former CEO, the late Satoru Iwata, was known for his resistance to layoffs, tell investors they were bad for staff morale and salary cuts during the disastrous years of the Wii U.

More recently, Nintendo returned to the heyday of the Wii and DS with the continued success of the Switch. Until last month, it was the best-selling console for 33 consecutive months. This sequence was broken by the PS5.

Updated: 10/29/21, 6:36 p.m. ET: Added more information about past Nintendo restructurings.


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