Today Square Enix announced with a press release that it will implement change at the top with the current president and CEO Yosuke Matsuda stepping down.
Matsuda-san would be replaced by Takashi Kiryu, who worked at the company since June 2020. According to his LinkedIn profile, he currently occupies the role of chief strategy officer.
Below you can find Kiryu-san's picture from the official Square Enix corporate website.
Kiryu-san previously worked in corporate positions at the Japanese advertising agency Dentsu (from 2013) with a brief stint at the Sloan School of Management of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
The change at the helm is motivated as follows:
"Under the rapid change of business environment surrounding the entertainment industry, the proposed change is intended to reshape the management team with the goal of adopting everevolving technological innovations and maximizing on the creativity of the Company’s group in order to deliver even greater entertainment to its customers around the world."
It's worth mentioning that the announcement doesn't list a new role for Matsuda-san after the change in leadership, likely indicating that he'll leave the company.
This is just the beginning of the process, as this change is not finalized just yet. The plan is for the decision to become effective after the annual shareholders’ meeting scheduled for June 2023 for the position at Square Enix Holdings and the equivalent meeting scheduled for May 2023 for the position at Square Enix proper.
That being said, this kind of approval is usually a formal step in the corporate world, so the change can be considered more or less confirmed.
At the moment, we don't know whether Kiryu-san's new role as CEO will mean relevant customer-facing changes in Square Enix's corporate culture and policies, as he was already part of the executive team before this new appointment. Kiryu-san is currently 48 and is much younger than his predecessor, who is 59 years old. That being said, he won't be the youngest CEO of a relevant Japanese game publisher, as Sega's Haruki Satomi is 44.
Recently, Square Enix announced declining financial results year-on-year, which may have convinced the board of directors that it was time for new leadership to step in.