Doug Bowser will succeed Reggie Fils-Aime as the president of Nintendo of America on April 15, the company said in a statement. The announcement was made on February 21 with Bowser leaving his role in sales and marketing to take over the top American job at the Japanese gaming giant.
Company President Shuntaro Furukawa said of Fila-Aime, “Inside and outside our company, Reggie is known as an exceptional leader. We are also pleased to have such an able successor ready to step into that role.” According to Bloomberg, Nintendo’s shared climbed over 6 percent in New York after the Fils-Aime news was announced.
Bowser said in a statement upon taking the job, “It has been my great fortune to work with and be mentored by Reggie for four years at Nintendo of America. And rest assured, we will continue to build on his work to evolve and expand our brand, furthering Nintendo’s global mission of creating smiles. There are millions more of those to come.”
Here’s what you need to know:
1. When Bowser Was First Hired by Nintendo, His Name Attracted A Lot of Jokes
Bowser joined Nintendo from Electronic Arts in 2015. Prior to working at EA, Bowser worked for Proctor and Gamble. His name gained media attention as “Bowser” is the name of Mario’s spikey yellow antagonist. Nintendo said in a self-aware statement in 2015, “Doug Bowser brings decades of experience, not fire breath, to new role.”
Headlines at the time he was originally hired included the Washington Post’s, “A guy named Bowser is now a Nintendo executive. Yes, really.” Bowser told Paste Magazine in 2017, “You know, I’ve been teased about this name all my life. And finally, I can actually embrace it! But there’s not like, any actual connection to the evil Bowser. I’m not from that lineage. It’s actually German.”
2. Bowser Is a Defender of the Broad Appeal of the Nintendo Switch
Bowser was in charge of marketing the Switch, a console that has suffered from sluggish sales, according to Bloomberg. The network says that Switch has struggled to sell outside of devout Nintendo fans.
In June 2018, Bowser was quoted during an appearance at E3 by Game Daily as saying, “It’s been broad, it really has. You know, we like to say that we want to appeal to players from five to 95, but as we look at the Switch, it’s been really balanced. Obviously, when you have a game like ‘Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild,’ or some of the more core content, or mature content you may have mentioned, that’s going to skew a bit older… But we’re also seeing games like Mario Kart 8 Deluxe appealing to a very broad segment. We saw it with Kirby Star Allies, [which] actually [saw] a younger segment coming in and playing. So it really does vary by title.”
3. Bowser Has Completed Super Mario Odyssey
In March 2018, Bowser posted a screengrab from his “Super Mario Odyssey” games that showed he had completed the game. Bowser tweeted, “All coins gathered! Looks like I need a bigger Odyssey. #SuperMarioOdyssey #NintendoSwitch.”
4. Bowser Was Last Promoted in 2016 When He Was Made a Senior Vice President
Bowser was promoted to his role of senior vice president of sales and marketing in the summer of 2016, less than a year after he first joined Nintendo. The move was spotted by eagle-eyed members of the NeoGAF gaming forum who noticed the change in title on Bowser’s LinkedIn page. The thread described Bowser as being “quietly promoted” at Nintendo. On that page, Bowser says his previous roles was as vice president of sales, where he was based in Redwood City, California.
5. Bowser’s Son, Kyle, Thinks There Is No Better Person to Lead Nintendo Than His Dad
As news of Bowser’s promotion emerged, his son, Kyle tweeted his joy saying, “What a day! I can’t think of a better man for the job! Thanks for always being my inspiration and I am so proud.” Doug Bowser lives in Danville, California, with his wife, Gail.
According to his LinkedIn page, Bowser is a graduate of the University of Utah, where he studied engineering as part of the class of 1984.