Nintendo CEO to Take 50 Percent Pay Cut After Losses

Satoru Iwata, president of Nintendo - Nintendo 3DS - 2011
Kim White for Nintendo of America

The game giant reported weak sales figures earlier in January, as the Wii U console continued to underperform.

TOKYO – Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata is to take a 50 percent pay cut for five months to atone for losses at the game giant, while other senior executives, including Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto, will forego 20 to 30 percent of their salaries.

Sales for the nine months to December 2013 fell 8.1 percent to $4.86 billion (?499 billion) compared to the same period the previous year. Nintendo logged a $15.3 million (?1.58 billion) operating loss for the period as Wii U sales continued to underperform.  

Earlier this month Nintendo predicted a $335 million (?35 billion) loss for the full year to March.

STORY: Nintendo Stock Drops 6 Percent Following Loss Forecast

Taking pay cuts and giving up bonuses are commonplace for executives in Japan when companies underperform or are hit by scandals. Iwata gave up more than two-thirds of his salary in 2012 after Nintendo reported an annual loss for 2011, the first since the company went public.

This year will be the third straight year of red ink for the company that dominated the casual gaming market with the original Wii console. Despite the portable 3DS also failing to meet recent sales targets, it has now sold more than 150 million units, bringing it close to the PlayStation 2, the best-selling game console of all time.

Nintendo has cash reserves of more than $8 billion and a history of successfully reinventing itself.

Twitter: @GavinJBlair