Pokémon USA has announced that its current president, Akira Chiba, will resign at the end of this year to pursue other opportunities. According to the company, Chiba's resignation is attributed to "completing his mission to re-establish Pokémon as a successful global brand."
Effective January 1st, 2008, Chiba will be replaced by Kenji Okubo, who was previously executive vice president and head of Pokémon USA's Seattle office. Okubo will manage Pokémon's operations in New York, Seattle and London.
Okubo will also be responsible for all Pokémon USA initiatives outside of Japan, including the Pokémon Trading Card Game, the animated TV series, North American and European licensing and the recently launched Pokémon Trading Figure Game.
Said Okubo, “During Mr. Chiba’s tenure, Pokémon USA has greatly expanded. 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.”