Square Enix CEO Youichi Wada has announced he is finally taking responsibility for the company’s disastrous financial performance by resigning, after the firm posted a 13 billion yen loss in its most recent fiscal quarter.
He will be succeeded by 49-year-old Yousuke Matsuda, Square Enix’s chief accountant, who is unsurprisingly promising to turn around the company with a program of drastic reform.
Whether Matsuda – who was presumably not without influence over the company’s direction during his 10 year tenure on its board – is any improvement of course remains to be seen.
His public disclosure of owning a mere 200 shares (presently trading at 1,100 yen each) does not seem a huge vote of confidence in the company’s future.
Wada for his part has not commented on his future employment plans, although a face-saving sinecure seems likely to be all he will manage.
Although no discussion of Square Enix’s failings is complete without mentioning Final Fantasy, continued weak performance from just about all of their latest releases – most recently Tomb Raider and Dragon Quest X – seems finally to have made Wada’s position untenable.
As with the recent “resignation” of EA’s CEO, there is also a strong suspicion that whatever the public facade of voluntary resignation, he has been ignominiously sacked.
Also echoing EA, the CEO in question leaves behind a devastated company in his wake, widely reviled by gamers and having a rock bottom stock price – although given the notorious difficulty of extricating a Japanese CEO from their position, the scale of his incompetence likely dwarfs even that of the great helmsman of “America’s worst company.”