Nintendo takes on Disney veteran as senior VP for digital in US, gets serious about this whole internet thing

Nintendo hinted it was improving its notoriously rudimentary online access with word of the Nintendo Network early this year, and was even more adamant at E3 about making a big push into digital video. Some have accused the company of nothing but flag-waving -- if that's true, the waving is about to turn into a full parade through a new hire. As of July 1st, Nintendo is bringing on Disney's former Interactive Media Group senior VP Duncan Orrell-Jones to take on the just-minted role of senior VP for the company's Network Business group in the US. He'll be handling the overall American digital strategy, which covers both gaming as well as content. We'll need to wait awhile before we see the results, but if it helps make sure friend codes never rise from the dead to haunt our Wii U, we're all for it.

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Duncan Orrell-Jones to Lead Nintendo's Online Efforts

REDMOND, Wash., June 28, 2012 – Nintendo of America announces the hiring of a new senior vice president of Network Business. Effective July 1, Duncan Orrell-Jones will take on the newly created position and spearhead the development and evolution of Nintendo of America's digital strategy for the company's Nintendo 3DS and Wii U video game systems. Orrell-Jones will work at Nintendo's headquarters in Redmond, Wash., and report to Nintendo of America President and COO Reggie Fils-Aime.

"Duncan Orrell-Jones brings knowledge and hands-on experience to Nintendo that will help us develop and implement long-term digital initiatives for our systems," Fils-Aime said. "By creating this new position we're demonstrating our commitment to the expansion of our online business, and Duncan is the perfect person for the job."

Orrell-Jones comes to Nintendo from The Walt Disney Company, where he has worked since 1993, most recently as senior vice president in the Disney Interactive Media Group. In that role, he was responsible for identifying opportunities to expand Disney's games business outside North America across a variety of platforms. Prior to that he also served as the senior vice president and general manager for the Disney Interactive Media Group in Tokyo, where he led a 140-person team to drive the company's digital properties on various platforms.

Orrell-Jones holds a bachelor's degree in physics from UCLA and an MBA from Emory University's Goizueta Business School.