NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Pokémon USA, Inc. today announced Akira Chiba, president, will resign at the end of this year. After years of dedicated service, Mr. Chiba is proud to leave Pokémon USA upon completing his mission to re-establish Pokémon as a successful global brand. Mr. Chiba joined Pokémon USA in 2002 when the company’s New York office was established, the brand’s first corporate headquarters outside of Japan. Upon stepping down, Mr. Chiba has plans to pursue other opportunities.
Mr. Chiba will be replaced by Mr. Kenji Okubo, previously executive vice president and head of Pokémon USA’s Seattle office, effective January 1, 2008. Mr. Okubo will manage Pokémon’s operations in New York, Seattle and London, and will oversee all Pokémon initiatives outside of Japan including the Pokémon Trading Card Game, the long-running animated TV series, North American and European licensing and the recently launched, Pokémon Trading Figure Game. Prior to joining Pokémon USA in 2004, Mr. Okubo worked at The Pokémon Company headquarters in Tokyo, Japan as director of international business.
“During Mr. Chiba’s tenure, Pokémon USA has greatly expanded,” said Okubo. “The brand is topping industry charts across all categories -- including video games, toys, and trading card games -- plus the Pokémon animated TV series is hugely successful on Cartoon Network. We thank Mr. Chiba for his efforts on behalf of Pokémon and wish him success in the future.”
About Pokémon USA
Pokémon USA, Inc., a subsidiary of The Pokémon Company in Japan, manages the property outside of Asia which includes licensing, marketing, the Pokémon Trading Card Game, an animated TV series, the Pokémon Trading Figure Game, home entertainment, the official Pokémon website, and online retail center www.pokemoncenter.com. Pokémon was launched in Japan in 1996 for play on Nintendo’s Game Boy® and has since evolved into a global cultural phenomenon. Pokémon was introduced in North America in 1998 and today is one of the most popular toy and entertainment properties in the world. For more information, visit www.pokemon.com.