With 55 years of service under his belt, Hiroshi Yamauchi has announced his intention to step down from the Nintendo board of directors on or not long after June 29th. He will stay in an advisory role to the company, however.
The 77-year-old took over the company in 1949 after his grandfather Sekiryo passed away, and went on to see the company turn from a simple playing card manufacturer into one of the most important companies in videogame history. Though he handed over presidency to current Ninty bigwig Satoru Iwata, Yamauchi stayed on as a director.
His age and the stability of the company at present are reportedly factors as to why Yamauchi is retiring from his position.
Rather interestingly (and very nicely), the standard director retirement benefit offered by Nintendo was turned down by Yamauchi, with the man asking that the £7.5 million(ish) instead be invested in the company. A ridiculously great thing to do, it has to be said.