* Nintendo CEO Iwata says had surgery last week, to miss
* Nintendo declines comment on whether bile duct tumour was
* Iwata, CEO since 2002, under pressure after Nintendo posts
third annual loss
(Adds details on Iwata's health, Nintendo's business)
TOKYO, June 24 Nintendo Co's Chief
Executive Satoru Iwata announced on Tuesday that he had surgery
to remove a tumour in his bile duct and would need more time to
return to work.
Iwata told shareholders in a letter on Tuesday that he would
miss Friday's annual general meeting. He had surgery last week
and "came through it well," he said.
He had also missed the E3 video game conference, held June
10-12 in Los Angeles, citing health reasons. He had attended the
conference every year since becoming CEO in 2002.
The company declined to comment on the details of his
condition, including whether the tumor was benign. Iwata said a
growth was found in his bile duct during a routine physical
"I have already resumed my business by email and by other
means, but it is anticipated that a little more time is needed
for me to return to my regular work schedule," he said.
Iwata has come under pressure for Nintendo's declining
popularity as consumers shift to mobile gaming and new consoles
from rivals Sony Corp and Microsoft Corp. So
far, the company has stuck to its game console strategy,
ignoring calls to shift to mobile gaming.
Nintendo ended the last business year by booking its third
straight loss, as sales of its Wii U console fell far short of
projections due to a paucity of games.
(Reporting by Reiji Murai; Writing by Ritsuko Ando; Editing by
Clarence Fernandez and Louise Heavens)