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Namco Celebrates 50th Anniversary of its Foundation
06.02.05 - 10:04 AM

Namco has celebrated the 50th anniversary of its foundation at the Yokohama Arena in Japan's second largest city. About 2,000 employees headed by chairman and founder Masaya Nakamura, president Shigekazu Ishimura and vice president Kyuushirou Takagi attended the event which carried the title "Challenge the Next Stage".

In addressing his staff, president Ishimura pointed out that this was probably the first such meeting since the company's humble beginnings in 1955. Throughout the five decades since then, Namco has made significant progress. This progress should also continue in the future. Ishimura then went on to explain the proposed tie-up with Bandai. Currently so-called Merger Preparation Committees were in the progress of being set up at both companies. In those committees, employees should discuss which form of organization and which strategies are best suited to utilize the tie-up's synergy effects to full extent.

Afterwards, chairman Nakamura received a certificate from the Guinness Book of Records, confirming that Pac-Man had officially become the most successful coin operated game. Namco's yellow mascot had just turned 25 last month.

Finally, Masaya Nakamura himself took the stage to address his employees. The company founder mentioned that not even in his dreams had he ever imagined Namco developing into such a wonderful company. He also acknowledged the difficulties he faced in the early days, saying banks would not give him any credit. However, if there had been an abundance of financial resources back then, probably a more capable manager than he would have done the job. And in that case, there probably would be no Namco today, he explained.

Looking ahead, Nakamura said he wanted to continue contributing to the company's success in his dual role as chief adviser to Bandai Namco Holdings and chairman of Namco. While the first president of Bandai Namco Holdings will be Bandai president Takeo Takasu, his successor will yield from Namco's management team. Nakamura also outlined a pretty bold change in management, in particular for a Japanese company: 50% of the directors on future boards should be young people in their 30s, 30% foreigners and 20% women. With such structural changes, Namco should be able to continue growing and meet up to the challenges of a new era of change. Last but not least, he said, he wanted to thank Namco employees in all countries for their contributions from the bottom of his heart.

Chris Winkler

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