Takeshi Natsuno, famed father of the i-mode platform is set to step down, according to reports in the Japanese media. “He is going to be leaving the company at the end of April,” an informed source in DoCoMo told AFP. The writing was on the wall when he was not front and center – as usual – hosting the 905i-series launch here last November. “Marking another notable difference from previous line-up introductions was the absence of Natsuno-san, famed ‘father of i-mode’ and always energetic MC, from the stage” WWJ reported at the time.
Natsuno, 43, plans to use his expertise to work in the growing related industry of producing content for mobile telephones, the source said. He came to DoCoMo in 1997 from Tokyo Gas with an objective of figuring out how to put customers’ wallet into their mobile phones. Besides i-mode, he has worked to develop other functions including turning mobile phones into contactless cards that can be used to pay at stores and train stations. It would certainly seem to mark the end of an era.. and we should think the start of yet another great adventure for Natsuno-san and indeed the future of mobile!