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Nobuo Kawakami Steps Down as Kadokawa Dwango President

posted on by Karen Ressler
Dwango reorganized as Kadokawa subsidiary

Kadokawa Dwango announced on Wednesday that Nobuo Kawakami has stepped down as the company representative director and president. Managing director Masaki Matsubara has taken over his previous role, and Kawakami serve as a director instead. Kawakami has also stepped down as a board member of Dwango and will instead serve as an adviser.

Likewise, Takashi Araki stepped down as president of Dwango and resigned as board member of Kadokawa Dwango, while Takeshi Natsuno is taking his place as president.

Kadokawa Dwango also announced that, as part of a restructuring, Kadokawa will absorb Dwango, GzBRAIN, and Daihyakka News as subsidiaries. All three, along with Kadokawa, are currently under the Kadokawa Dwango umbrella.

The company reported an extraordinary loss of about 3.799 billion yen for Dwango in its third quarter balance report on Wednesday, and also reported a drop in Dwango's stock valuation. Part of the reason for the reorganization is a slump in Dwango's principal business of web service.

Kawakami founded Dwango in 1997. After Kadokawa and Dwango merged in 2014 to form Kadokawa Dwango, Kawakami served chairman of Kadokawa Dwango. Kawakami then switched positions with then-President Tatsuo Satō to become president of Kadokawa Dwango in June 2015. Kawakami stepped down as chairman and chief technology officer of Dwango in 2017.

Dwango is the corporate parent of the game companies Spike Chunsoft and MAGES., as well as of Niwango, the company that runs the Niconico video-sharing site.

Sources: Kadokawa Dwango, Animation Business Journal (Tadashi Sudo)

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