From the adventures of Link in the Legend of Zelda to the twists and turns of Mario Kart, Reginald “Reggie” Fils-Aimé ’83, former president and CEO of Nintendo America, has been a part of bringing dreams to life for Nintendo users across the world for years.
Now, he’s returning to Cornell, his alma mater, to serve as the first Leader in Residence of the Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management.
Leaders in Residence, a part of the Dyson Leadership program, aims to give students the opportunity to have “personal interactions with successful leaders who represent a variety of industries and sectors.” Students learn about leadership and participate in workshops steered to focus on “conscious capitalism” and “service,” according to the program’s website.
Since joining Nintendo America as executive vice president of sales and marketing in 2003, and then taking on the role of CEO in 2006, Fils-Aimé played a critical role in bringing the Nintendo 3DS, Wii U, Nintendo DS and the Nintendo Switch to market.
Through his innovation and leadership, Fils-Aimé helped ensure that Nintendo’s American division remained a competitor among other leading consoles, stacking up against Sony’s Playstation and Microsoft’s Xbox 360 while revolutionizing the world of gaming.
As the first person of Haitian descent to lead a Fortune 500 company, Fils-Aimé — who hails from the Bronx, New York — has been a “trailblazer” in multiple aspects. In his retirement, besides joining the pioneer Dyson program, he will also become a member of the global executive officer committee for Nintendo Co., Ltd.
Creativity and unconventional thinking are defining markers for his accomplishments and public persona, best exemplified through Fils-Aimé’s first-ever public speech in a 2004 press conference: “My name is Reggie. I’m about kickin’ ass, I’m about takin’ names, and we’re about makin’ games.”
Fils-Aimé will deliver a lecture in Kennedy Hall’s Call Auditorium from 7 to 8 p.m. on Monday, October 21 to “share principles so that you can cultivate your own leadership capability”. The lecture is open to the public.
Correction, Sept. 3: A previous version of this post misspelled the name of Reginald “Reggie” Fils-Aimé. The Sun regrets this error.