Chris Meledandri, the CEO of film and animation studio Illumination, has today officially joined Nintendo’s board as an outside director.
He was nominated for the role in May and officially elected for the position on Tuesday during Nintendo’s 81st annual general meeting of shareholders.
Best known as the producer of the Despicable Me and Minions movie franchises, the American is the first westerner to hold an outside director role at Nintendo.
Meledandri founded Illumination in 2007 after almost a decade at 20th Century Fox, where he oversaw the creative and business operations of Blue Sky Studios, the CGI firm behind the Ice Age movies.
In a Fast Company feature published in April, Nintendo president Shuntaro Furukawa said the company was looking into creating animation content for its other franchises too, but suggested doing so would be dependent on finding partners who “deeply understand” the source material.
Putting Meledandri forward for his new role in May, Nintendo said: “We would like to nominate him as a new Outside Director with the expectation that he will appropriately supervise our companyʼs management from an objective perspective, while providing valuable advice to our organization, based on his broad experience and insight gained as a leader in the field of entertainment.
“Our current group of Outside Directors consists of experts such as lawyers and accountants, and as members of the Audit and Supervisory Committee, they contribute to enriching the audit and supervisory system of our company through their broad insight into our corporate management.
“However, Mr. Meledandri is expected to be nominated as an Outside Director who will not serve as a member of the Audit and Supervisory Committee.
“We believe that the addition of Mr. Meledandri will help to ensure our balance of diversity, including global perspective, knowledge, and experience, further enhancing the effectiveness of our Board of Directors.”