Holiday Bustle at Sega

It's a busy time for Sega news, as the company has been thrust, albeit unwillingly, into the spotlight over the last few days. Shoichiro Irimajiri, Sega's vice-chairman, has announced that he will retire from the company, effective December 31. The retirement is the final step in a year-long slide for Irimajiri, who demoted himself earlier this year as a result of slow-moving Dreamcast units. Sega representatives have said that Irimajiri has been asked to continue at Sega after his retirement as a consultant. No word has been given on whether he will accept the offer.

That's not all, either. On-and-off rumors of Nintendo purchasing Sega have cropped up before, but this was something else entirely. A story in the New York Times ignited another batch of scuttlebutt about a possible Nintendo buyout of Sega. Both companies flatly denied the rumor; however, the incident resulted in significant stock fluctuations at both corporations. On the Nikkei, the Japanese stock exchange, Nintendo's took a significant hit on speculation that a Sega purchase would damage Nintendo, while Sega's stock leaped up at the prospect of a Nintendo cash infusion. Shunichi Nakamura of Sega wrote the NY Times recently, requesting a retraction and apology for the incident. Below is the text of Nakamura's letter to the Times.

Mr. Glenn Kraman Business Desk, The New York Times

Mr. Howard French Tokyo Bureau Chief, The New York Times Tokyo Bureau

While Sega has always been fond of The New York Times' objective coverage of our company, we would like to express our concern over the fallacy that appeared on 12/27/00 regarding Nintendo's buy out of Sega. Not only did this erroneous allegation cause the trade of Sega's corporate stock to be temporarily suspended while substantially influencing Sega and Nintendo's stock prices, it caused unnecessary confusion among stockholders, affiliated companies, business partners, and end-users of both companies. It also severely damaged Sega's corporate and brand image during a very precarious time in the videogame industry.

Although top executives of Sega and Nintendo flatly and completely denied the rumor, The New York Times has published yet another article containing similar content on 12/29/00. Such repeated and arbitrary publication of groundless statements is pure harassment and unacceptable obstruction of our business, which we cannot overlook. We believe that The New York Times as a news organization is heavily responsible for this misinformation.

Sega Corporation is requesting that The New York Times immediately run a notification and apology for the fallacious feature in the same scale and manner as the initial article. We expect The New York Times to address this issue in the honorable tradition of a respectable news source by taking the appropriate and responsible measures toward reparations.

Thank you,

Shunichi Nakamura
Corporate Executive Vice President
Sega Corporation of Japan

by Bill Johnson    
Sources: [Core Magazine,]
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