Nintendo has closed its California Office today, which is displacing around 100 employees, sources report Kotaku.
The Redwood City location was one of three main offices for Nintendo of America, headquartered in Redmond, Washington. Sources tell Kotaku the closure included the resignation of SVP of Sales and Marketing, Nick Chavez, who had previously announced on Friday via LinkedIn that he would join Kentucky Fried Chicken to help them get the Yum! Brands.
The SVP position was previously held by Doug Bowser President of Nintendo of America after Reggie Fils-Aime resigned in 2019.
Nintendo did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Update: 10/29/21, 7:20 p.m. ET: Nintendo of America has confirmed that its Toronto office will also be closed. Here is the full statement:
Nintendo of America is headquartered in Redmond, WA and Vancouver, BC. We are moving more of our people and operations to this headquarters and will be closing small branch offices in Toronto, ON and Redwood City, CA over time.
Devon Pritchard, Executive Vice President, Business Affairs and Publisher Relations at Nintendo of America (NOA), will take over the interim management of sales, marketing and communications after Nick Chavez has left. Ms. Pritchard will oversee the strategy and execution of sales, marketing and communications in the United States and Canada.
Continue reading: How Reggie Fils-Aime became a Nintendo legend
According to Nintendo, the Redwood offices housed the sales and marketing departments, as well as a field service team dedicated to working with retail stores across the country. Video documentation of the offices in 2012 featured Redwoods halls filled with plush toys and toys of important Nintendo characters.
While it’s not yet clear what caused Nintendo to close the office, a source said Kotaku that many of the now displaced employees were upset about the decision.
Closures and restructurings of any kind are rare at Nintendo. The enterprise has downsized its office in South Korea in 2016 and restructured Nintendo of Europe back in 2014, which ultimately led to over 300 people are laid off. The former CEO, the late Satoru Iwata, was known to be resistant to layoffs, Investors say They were bad for staff morale and took Wage cuts during the disastrous Wii U years.
More recently, with the continued success of the Switch, Nintendo has made a return to the heyday of the Wii and DS. Until last month, was the best-selling console for 33 consecutive months. That streak was broken by the PS5.
Update: 10/29/21, 6:36 p.m. ET: Added more information on Nintendo’s past restructuring.