Officials from Nintendo of Europe have confirmed to Gamasutra that senior marketing director Jim Merrick is shortly to leave the division to return to the U.S., where he will take on a new, so far unnamed, position.
A statement from Nintendo of Europe commented that: "Jim joined Nintendo of Europe three years ago on a short term contract from Nintendo America and is now returning to continue to progress his career with the company. His replacement will be announced in the coming weeks."
The move is in part due to Merrick’s family commitments in his native U.S., although speculation is already mounting that he will play a pivotal role in the launch of the Revolution console in North America - following his work on the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection with Nintendo boss Satoru Iwata.
With Europe often seen as Nintendo’s weakest link worldwide, Merrick has overseen the successful launch of the Nintendo DS during his three year tenure, as well as the Game Boy Micro and the most recent Christmas period for the GameCube. He has also held a high profile in the European media for Nintendo, most recently
giving a detailed interview to consumer site Eurogamer in which he acknowledged that Europe is traditionally the last territory to get new consoles, but commented: "We're very serious about trying to be a more global company and not follow the stereotypical formula of Japan first, then the U.S., then Europe some time later."