Nintendo: An Outsider as Successor
(7 pages of text)
Case (Pub Mat)
Under the visionary leadership of Hiroshi Yamauchi, Nintendo Co., Ltd. (Nintendo) of Japan had transformed from a small founder-controlled business to a global and professionalized firm. Yamauchi’s death in 2013 had the potential to affect Nintendo’s corporate financial policy. Following his passing, Yamauchi’s family was left with a huge inheritance—but also an exorbitant inheritance tax bill. The family sought advice from Nintendo on how to deal with the matter. How could Nintendo solve this financial trouble in a way that balanced the interests of both the family and Nintendo’s management?
This case can be used in an advanced undergraduate or graduate course in family business, family governance, or financial management. It illustrates some unique characteristics of family ownership, control, and management. The case shows how succession planning can affect not only a company’s founding family but also the firm’s value. More specifically, it presents an opportunity for students to discuss the following issues:
- the role of the founder and the benefits of family control
- challenges in succession planning
- inheritance planning
- the effect of succession planning on corporate financial policy
The issues raised in this case can be applied to different countries, as family firms dominate many economies worldwide.
Japan, Large, 2014
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