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Nintendo has seen a bit of a shuffle in its upper management, and it seems that has extended to its overseas branches as well. With longtime Nintendo of Europe President Satoru Shibata returning to Nintendo HQ in Kyoto to take over as manager of licensing, Nintendo has announced that Stephan Bole will be taking over as President of Nintendo of Europe.

Bole has had a long and illustrious career at Nintendo of Europe, having most notably had a strong role to play in solidifying Nintendo’s position in the French market from 2001 to 2005 (and to this day, France remains one of Nintendo’s strongest markets worldwide). He will be assisted by Koji Miyake, who will be taking over as its new CEO and chairman.

“To say that Mr Shibata’s contributions have been instrumental to Nintendo’s European operations is an understatements,” Bole said. “His efforts over the past 18 years have helped to bring Nintendo products to generations of players across Europe – and beyond. While he will be missed by many, I have full confidence that with our new structure we’ll be able to continue our mission of putting smiles on people’s faces through our unique gaming experiences.”

Under Shibata, Nintendo ended up gaining an unusually strong position in the continental European market (albeit second to PlayStation), although Nintendo’s traditional weakness in the UK persists. How Bole plans to prepare Nintendo to become a mainstay in European gaming remains to be seen.