Nintendo President and CEO Satoru Iwata Dies at 55

PHOTO: In this Jan. 31, 2013 file photo, Nintendo Co. President Satoru Iwata speaks during a news conference in Tokyo. Nintendo said President Iwata died Saturday, July 11, 2015, of a bile duct tumor in a Kyoto hospital, western Japan.Koji Sasahara, File/AP Photo
In this Jan. 31, 2013 file photo, Nintendo Co. President Satoru Iwata speaks during a news conference in Tokyo. Nintendo said President Iwata died Saturday, July 11, 2015, of a bile duct tumor in a Kyoto hospital, western Japan.

Satoru Iwata, the president and CEO of Nintendo Co. has died due to a bile duct tumor, the company announced in a statement today. He was 55.

Iwata, who previously also served as CEO of Nintendo of America, led the company as it grew with its Pokemon and Super Mario franchises.

He had been president of Nintendo since 2002, succeeding Hiroshi Yamauchi, after joining the company in 2000.

Previous to that he had been a programmer at HAL Laboratory, where he helped create video games including Balloon Fight, EarthBound, and the Kirby games.