Hiroshi Yamauchi – Wikipedia

Japanese businessman ( 1927 – 2013 )

Hiroshi Yamauchi (山内溥, Yamauchi Hiroshi, 7 November 1927 – 19 September 2013) was a Japanese businessman and the third president of Nintendo, joining the company in 1949 until stepping down on 24 May 2002, being subsequently succeeded by Satoru Iwata. During his 53-year tenure, Yamauchi transformed Nintendo from a hanafuda card-making company that had been active solely in Japan into a multibillion-dollar video game publisher and global conglomerate. He was the great-grandson of Fusajiro Yamauchi, Nintendo’s first president and founder.

In April 2013, Forbes estimated Yamauchi’s net worth at $ 2.1 billion ; he was the 13 th richest person in Nhật Bản và the 491 st richest in the world. [ ba ] In 2008, Yamauchi was Japan’s wealthiest person with a fortune at that thời gian estimated at $ 7.8 billion. [ bốn ] At the giây phút of his death, Yamauchi was the largest shareholder at Nintendo. [ 5 ] [ 6 ]

Yamauchi was born in Kyoto to father Shikanojo Inaba and mother Kimi. His father abandoned them both when he was five years old, and his mother was unable to cope as a single parent so she gave him up to her parents. With his grandfather being a business owner, this adoption aligned his future inheritance of what would become Nintendo. He was sent to a preparatory school in Kyoto at age twelve. He planned to study law or engineering, but World War II disrupted his studies. Since he was too young to fight, he was put to work in a military factory. Once the war ended in 1945, Yamauchi went to Waseda University to study law. He married Michiko Inaba. With the absence of Yamauchi’s father, his grandparents met to arrange the marriage.[7][unreliable source?][8]

In 1948, Yamauchi’s grandfather and president of Nintendo, Sekiryo Kaneda, suffered a stroke. As he had no other immediate successor, he asked Yamauchi to come immediately to Nintendo to assume the job of president. He had to leave his law degree at Waseda University to do so.[8][9] Yamauchi would only accept the position if he were the only family member working at Nintendo. Reluctantly, Yamauchi’s grandfather agreed, and died shortly thereafter in 1949. Under the agreement, his older cousin had to be fired. Due to his young age and total lack of management experience, most employees did not take Yamauchi seriously and resented him. Soon after taking over, he had to deal with a strike by factory employees who expected him to cave in easily. Instead, he asserted his authority by firing many long-time employees who questioned his authority. He had the company name changed to Nintendo Karuta and established its new headquarters in Kyoto. Yamauchi led Nintendo in a “notoriously imperialistic style”.[attribution needed][10] He was the sole judge of potential new products, and only a product that appealed to him and his instincts went on the market.[7][11][12]

He was the first Khủng introduce the plastic Western playing thẻ into the Japanese market. Western playing cards were still a novelty in Nhật Bản và the public associated them with Western-styled gambling games such as poker & bridge. Most gambling activities were technically illegal by mặc định with only the few legally sanctioned exceptions of horse racing, pachinko, & lottery. Therefore, the market for anything which was associated with gambling, including hanafuda, was limited. Yamauchi’s first ” cơn sốt ” came when he made a licensing agreement with Walt Disney in 1959 for his plastic playing cards. [ 13 ] Nintendo targeted its playing cards as a công cụ for các buổi tiệc nhỏ games that the whole family could enjoy, a foreshadowing of the company’s approach going into the 21 st century. Disney’s tie-in was made towards that kết thúc. Nintendo’s Disney playing thẻ was also accompanied by a small, thin booklet with many tutorials for different thẻ games. The strategy succeeded và the hàng hóa sold an unprecedented 600,000 units in one year, soon gracing Nintendo with the domination of the Japanese playing thẻ market. [ 9 ] With this success, Yamauchi once again changed the company name béo Nintendo Company Limited và took the company public và became the chairman. [ 11 ] [ 12 ] He then decided phệ travel mập the U.S. Khủng visit the United States Playing Card Company, the world’s biggest manufacturer of playing cards. Upon arriving in Cincinnati, Yamauchi was disappointed Khủng see a small-scale office & factory. This led Khủng the realization that thẻ manufacturing was an extremely limited venture .Upon his return mập Nhật Bản, Yamauchi decided Khủng diversify the company. Some of the mới ra areas he ventured into included a xe taxi company called Daiya, a love khách sạn with rooms rented by the hour ( which he reportedly frequented ), [ 9 ] & individually portioned instant rice. All of these ventures eventually failed & brought the company into the brink of bankruptcy. However, one day, Yamauchi spotted a factory engineer named Gunpei Yokoi playing with a simple extendable claw, something Yokoi made mập amuse himself during his break. Yamauchi ordered Yokoi Khủng develop the extendable claw into a proper sản phẩm. The hàng hóa was named the Ultra Hand và was an instant cơn bão. It was then that Yamauchi decided bự move Nintendo’s focus into toy making. With an already established distribution system into department stores for its playing cards, the transition was a natural one for Nintendo. Yamauchi created a hot nhất department called Games và Setup, manned initially by only Yokoi và another employee who looked after the finances và was situated in a warehouse in Kyoto for the purpose of research và development. Gunpei Yokoi was solely assigned phệ develop mới nhất products. Yokoi utilized his degree in engineering by developing date calculator age
is now known as electric toys such as the Love Tester và a light gun using solar cells for targets. Thes e electric toys were quite a novelty in the 1960 s when most other toys were simple in origin, such as toy blocks or dolls. Eventually, Nintendo succeeded in establishing itself as a major player in the toy market. [ 7 ] [ 11 ] [ 12 ]Yamauchi realized that technological breakthroughs in the electronic industry meant that electronics could be incorporated into entertainment products since the prices were decreasing. Atari và Magnavox were already selling gaming devices for use with television sets. Yamauchi negotiated a license with Magnavox Khủng sell its game console, the Magnavox Odyssey. After hiring several Sharp Electronics employees, Nintendo launched the màu sắc TV-Game 6 in Nhật Bản, which was followed by several revisions và updates of this series .

Yamauchi had Nintendo expand into the United States to take advantage of the growing American arcade market. He hired his son-in-law Minoru Arakawa to head the new American operation. Their Japanese hits such as Radar Scope, Space Fever, and Sheriff did not achieve the same success in the United States, soin 1981 Yamauchi turned to designer Shigeru Miyamoto’s pet project, Donkey Kong, which became a smash hit.

Yamauchi infused Nintendo with a chất lượng industrial development process. [ 14 ] He instituted three separate research và development units, which competed with one another & aimed for innovation. This system fostered a high degree of both unusual & successful gadgets. Yokoi, who headed R&D 1, created the first portable LCD Clip game featuring a microprocessor called the trò chơi và Watch. Although the trò chơi và Watch was successful, Yamauchi wanted something that was cheap enough that most could buy it yet chất lượng enough so sánh that it would dominate the market for as long as possible. [ 7 ]On July 15, 1983, Nintendo launched its mới ra home page video clip game console, the Nintendo Family Computer ( more commonly abbreviated as the Famicom ). Yamauchi was so sánh confident with the Famicom that he promised an electronics company one million unit orders within two years. The Famicom easily reached that goal. After selling several million units, Yamauchi realized the importance of the software that ran on the game systems & made sure the system was easy béo program. Yamauchi believed that technicians did not create excellent games, but artists did. The Famicom was released in the United States as the Nintendo Entertainment System ( NES ) in October 1985. Yamauchi, with no engineering or đoạn Clip game background, was the only one deciding which games were bự be released. His remarkable intuition for what people would want in the future may have been one of the reasons for Nintendo’s success. To help spring creativity, he created three research & development groups và allowed them mập compete against each other. This caused the designers phệ work harder lớn try lớn get their games approved. [ 7 ] [ 11 ]

In 1990, the Super Famicom was released in Japan. It was released a year later in North America and in 1992 in Europe, in both regions as the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES). The Super Famicom was sold out within three days in Japan and had gamers camping for days outside shops in hope of getting the next shipment. Nintendo showed major expansion during this period with new plants, R&D facilities and a partnership with Rare. Yamauchi had displayed from the beginning a knack at identifying good games even though he had never played them, and he continued to do so alone until at least 1994.[citation needed] A 1995 article in Next Generation reported that Yamauchi, though 68 years old, “remains very much in charge” of Nintendo and called him “The most feared and respected man in the videogame industry”.[15]

In 1995, the Virtual Boy was released but did not sell well. Nevertheless, Yamauchi said at a press conference that he still had faith in it and that the company would continue developing games for it.[citation needed] In the fiscal year ending 31 March 1995, Nintendo achieved revenues of 416 billion yen.[15]

In 1996, Nintendo released its mới nhất, fully 3 chiều capable console, the Nintendo 64. Around this giây phút Yamauchi publicly stated that he wanted mập retire but did not think there were any good candidates lớn succeed him yet. [ tám ] A year later, he announced that he would retire by 2.000, regardless of the lack of a good successor, và in particular wanted mập over his career with the launch of the 64DD. [ 16 ] In 1999, Yamauchi và Nintendo announced their intentions phệ work on a hot nhất system with an IBM Gekko processor và Matsushita DVD công nghệ codenamed Dolphin. This system was named GameCube. Yamauchi talked at E3 about the impact that the release of Xbox would have on the GameCube .Yamauchi touted the GameCube as a machine designed exclusively bự be a đoạn Clip game console, opting not mập include truyền thông playback. This emphasis towards ” performance only ” và the creation of hardware that would allow developers lớn ” easily create games ” is what Yamauchi believed would mix the GameCube apart from its competitors .Yamauchi also wanted the machine bự be the least expensive of its kind, in his belief that people ” bởi vì not play with the game machine itself. They play with the software, và they are forced bự purchase a game machine in order béo use the software. Therefore the price of the machine should be as cheap as possible. ” Nintendo hence priced the GameCube significantly less expensively than its rivals in the market, although the console’s games were priced identically phệ those designed for the competing systems. [ 17 ]

On 24 May 2002, Yamauchi stepped down as president of Nintendo and was succeeded by the head of Nintendo’s Corporate Planning Division, Satoru Iwata.[18][19] Yamauchi subsequently became the chairman of Nintendo’s board of directors. He left the board on 29 June 2005, due to his age, and because he believed that he was leaving the company in good hands. Yamauchi also refused to accept his retirement pension, which was reported to be around $9 to $14 million, believing that Nintendo could put it to better use. He remained Nintendo’s largest shareholder, and as of 2008 retained a 10% share in Nintendo.[20] He was the 12th richest man in Japan[3] due to his shares in Nintendo since its success with the Wii and Nintendo DS consoles.[citation needed] He donated the majority of the 7.5 billion yen to build a new cancer treatment center in Kyoto.[21] In 2006, he founded Shigureden, a museum of poetry in Kyoto.[22]

In 1950, Yamauchi’s wife Michiko gave birth lớn their first child, a daughter named Yōko. During the next few years, Michiko had several miscarriages & was often ill. In 1957, she gave birth bự another daughter, Fujiko and, shortly after, a son named Katsuhito. [ 7 ]Michiko Inaba died on 29 July 2012, aged 82. [ 23 ] [ 24 ]When Yamauchi’s father, Shikanojō, returned years later mập see his son, Yamauchi refused Khủng speak béo him. When Yamauchi was close lớn 30, his half-sister contacted him và informed him that Shikanojō had died of a stroke. At the funeral, he met his father’s wife & their four daughters whom he chưa bao giờ knew existed. He began feeling sorry that he had not taken the opportunity lớn reconcile with his father when he was still alive. The death of his father changed Yamauchi, và he grieved for months & cried freely. From then on he made regular visits lớn his father’s grave. [ 25 ]Yamauchi has been described as a stern man with a single-minded focus on his business. [ tám ] He did not play video clip games ; his sole serious hobby was the strategy board game Go, [ tám ] though Masayuki Uemura, the primary engineer of the original NES, has stated that he also enjoyed hanafuda & would play cards with Nintendo employees at parties. [ 26 ] He was ranked a seventh Dan [ 13 ] at Go, roughly equivalent lớn chessmaster .In 1992, the Seattle Mariners of Major League Baseball were up for marketing và United States Senator Slade Gorton asked Nintendo of America phệ find a Japanese investor who would keep the club in Seattle. Yamauchi offered Khủng buy the franchise, even though he had chưa bao giờ been bự a baseball game. Although the owner accepted the offer, then MLB commissioner Fay Vincent và the league’s ownership committee were strongly opposed lớn the idea of a non-North American owner và did not approve the khuyến mãi. However, following the strong tư vấn và sentiments of the people of Seattle và press the commissioner formally approved the giảm giá, under the condition that Yamauchi had less than 50 % of the vote. After the purchase Yamauchi signed his rights kết thúc lớn Nintendo of America, who would oversee the nhóm on his behalf. In 2 nghìn, the club made its first profit of $ 2.6 million since its acquisition by Yamauchi. [ 7 ] [ 27 ] Yamauchi không bao giờ attended a Mariners game in his lifetime. [ 28 ]


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