Nintendo CMO Will Have To Fill Some Profitable Shoes

Former Yahoo CMO Cammie Dunaway takes her place at Nintendo of America as executive vice president/sales and marketing on Nov. 5. But after the video game console market reported stellar earnings Thursday, she'll have to fill some pretty big shoes.

At Nintendo, Dunaway takes responsibility for sales and marketing in the United States, Canada and Latin America, reporting to Nintendo of America Chairman and CEO Reggie Fils-Aime. She brings more than 20 years of marketing and sales experience, most recently leading Yahoo's worldwide branding efforts and driving product-marketing initiatives.

At Yahoo, Allen Olivo, vice president/global brand marketing, will fill in while the company searches for a replacement, according to a Yahoo spokesperson.

Dunaway spent four years at Yahoo and more than a decade at Frito-Lay, overseeing icon brands such as Chee-tos, Doritos, Lays and Rold Gold Pretzels. She moves into the position after Nintendo's decision to relocate from Redmond, Wash. to San Francisco, causing the video game console maker to lose George Harrison, senior vice president/marketing and communications; Rob Matthews, senior director of consumer marketing; and Perrin Kaplan, vice president/marketing and corporate affairs.

Stepping into Nintendo, Dunaway faces challenges--but could give the company a much-needed talent boost, as those veteran marketing executives who left contributed to soaring profits.

"The way Nintendo positioned the Wii to appeal to a broader audience, making the games more accessible, has resonated with consumers," says Lazard Capital Markets analyst Colin Sebastian. "Sony, on the other hand, has been met with challenges. They are fighting headwinds on the pricing for PS3."

Nintendo's reported profits more than doubled in the six months to Sept. 30 on successful sales of Wii and Nintendo DS game consoles. Net profit soared to $1.16 billion, or ¥132.42 billion, in its fiscal first half--from ¥54.35 billion in the year earlier.

Nintendo has shipped 13.17 million Wii consoles units worldwide since launch, adding about 3.9 million in the past three months. DS sales have reached 53.6 million sold, according to the company.

Strong earnings results prompted Nintendo to raise sales forecasts 10% for the year through March--to $13.55 billion, or 1.55 trillion yen--and profit to $2.4 billion, or ¥275 billion, from ¥245 billion, estimated in July. Nintendo estimates it will ship 17.5 million. Wii consoles during the fiscal year.

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