Square Enix president Yoichi Wada to resign

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Yoichi-Wada-screenshots-1Square Enix has announced the resignation of president Yoichi Wada and forecast an “extraordinary loss” for the current financial year.

The Japanese publisher plans for current representative director Yosuke Matsuda to succeed Wada as president in June as it reorganises its management team amid wider reforms to its business operations.

Square Enix said: “In view of the rapidly changing environment of the game businesses, the company has decided to implement major reforms and restructuring in its development policy, organizational structure, some business models, and others.

“The company expects that the representative directors will change. Such change is subject to a resolution by its 33rd annual general meeting of shareholders to be held in late June, 2013, and a resolution by its board of directors meeting to be held after the said meeting of shareholders.”

Square Enix has also significantly downwardly revised its earnings forecast for the current business year ending March 31, 2013, blaming “slow sales of major console game titles in North American and European markets”, “sluggish performance of its arcade machine business”, and an “extraordinary loss” of approximately ten billion yen (£70m / $106m) from its restructuring plans.

For the fiscal year, the company now expects to report a net loss of 13 billion yen (£91m / $138m), down from a 3.5 billion yen (£24m / $37m) profit forecast last October and the six billion yen (£42m / $64m) profit it made the previous business year. It also downwardly revised its annual revenue forecast from 150 billion yen to 145 billion yen (£1b / $1.5b).

Wada joined Square in April 2000, prior to its merger with Enix in 2003. He became a director and chief financial officer in June of 2000, representative director and chief operating officer in September 2001, and finally the president and CEO that December. Following the merger with Enix, he was appointed Square Enix representative director and president.

Wada becomes the second major publisher boss casualty this month. Electronic Arts CEO John Riccitiello will also resign his position on March 30 amid poorer than expected financial results, it was confirmed last week.

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