So How Much Does Iwata, Miyamoto Make?

Two weeks ago we watched Nintendo president and CEO Satoru Iwata waltz on stage at E3 2010 and fondle the new 3DS handheld (much like Steve Jobs recently caressed the iPad and iPhone 4 during their debut). But during the presentation--or actually at any other time for that matter--did you stop and wonder just much Iwata and other Nintendo top dogs actually bring home every year?

A new legislation in Japan is now forcing companies to reveal the salaries of any board member earning over ¥100 million a year ($1.13 million USD). Nintendo coughed up its numbers, revealing that Iwata has a base salary of ¥100 million ($770,000 USD) but can reach to ¥187 million ($2.11 million USD) thanks to performance-based bonuses.

As for the other six Nintendo board members, they were not individually named (although developer Shigeru Miyamoto is one of them), however the group earns ¥100 million ($1.13 million USD) in total. For Miyamoto, that paycheck just doesn't seem to justify the revenue his designs have brought the company over the last two decades. However the famed developer has always insisted on staying level with the other producers, refusing a higher salary.

So what about salaries outside Nintendo? Sony CEO Sir Howard Stringer was forced to reveal his earnings, reporting a meaty ¥816.5 million ($9.20 million USD). Sega Sammy Holdings CEO Osamu Satomi earns ¥435 million ($4.90 million USD) and Square Enix CEO Yoichi Wada brings in ¥240 million ($2.70 million USD). In America, Microsoft's Entertainment & Devices division president Robbie Back brought home $6.21 million USD in 2009.

After reading all of this, does it seem that Iwata is actually underpaid when compared to other CEOs?

Kevin started taking PCs apart in the 90s when Quake was on the way and his PC lacked the required components. Since then, he’s loved all things PC-related and cool gadgets ranging from the New Nintendo 3DS to Android tablets. He is currently a contributor at Digital Trends, writing about everything from computers to how-to content on Windows and Macs to reviews of the latest laptops from HP, Dell, Lenovo, and more. 

  • figgus
    ¥100 million ($770,000 USD)
    ¥100 million ($1.13 million USD)

    Which one is it?
  • tokenz
    Good to see someone who makes games for peoples enjoyment, not their own greed.
  • asdf634
    Gotta take my hats off to Nintendo. With all that profits from Wii and DS the big heads' salaries are the least of the bunch.

    ...wait, so where did all that profit go? R&D I suppose... 3DS FTW!!
  • djtronika
    to be honest, these numbers were strikingly low considering the billion dollar market they are in. course, these are their "salaries". you'd be very surprised what happens when accountants do tricks.
  • rbarone69
    People often forget that good leadership is hard to come by and great leadership is very rare. Also I find that people think they can do the job of a CEO but never really understand what knowledge is needed to do the job properly.

    If they can lead the company ethically to success they deserve some of that money... If they fail due to their own incompetence, they dont deserve it...

    But ask yourself, if an executive keeps a company that's near death alive saving tens of thousands of jobs, do they deserve the million dollar salary they were collecting prior to the problems?

  • No matter how good you are at what you do you'll reach a point past reasonable compensation for actual work done at far, far lower numbers than any of these.

    The remainder should be considered compensation for the responsibilities associated with the position itself.

    I don't begrudge people these kind of salaries considering what they do, the thing that gets to me is that when you're paid according to your responsibilities you should also have to pay for failing to live up to them.
  • maxiim
    Seems like he does earn quite a bit less, though Nintendo does not do as much business as PS, or at least it just does not seem like it.
  • nictron
    Those salaries don't include stock options and dividends from those stocks. :)
  • Spanky Deluxe
    Salaries aren't the whole story. Take Steve Jobs for example, his salary at Apple per year is $1. However, he also owns 5.426 million shares in Apple and 138 million shares in Disney giving him a net worth of $5.5 billion. The big boys make their money with dividends etc on their stock. Miyamoto will be no different.
  • I think every CEO in the world needs to be legally restricted at 250,000$ a year. To hell with the lot of you monkey suits.