Nintendo president Satoru Iwata will not be attending the company's annual general meeting of shareholders this month because he recently had major surgery and is at home recovering from it. The 54-year-old is recuperating from an operation to remove a growth found in his bile duct. Iwata made the announcement in an open letter published on Nintendo's site this morning.
"Today, there is one thing that I would like to share with you," Iwata wrote. "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."
"I have already resumed my business by email and by other means, but it is anticipated that a little more time is needed for me to return to my regular work schedule."
"As the president of the company, I regret that I cannot attend the meeting. 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."
The surgery also kept Iwata away from E3 this year. While Iwata did not make it to Los Angeles earlier this month, he did pre-record vignettes that aired during Nintendo's Direct E3 press event.
We wish Mr. Iwata a speedy and full recovery.