Square, in an announcement today that has been hinted at for some time, posted a loss for the most recent quarter, which helped to spell the first zero dividend year since the company's stock started trading publicly. While much of this has to do with the high costs involved in producing the Final Fantasy series, as well as the heavy investment the company has put into Final Fantasy: The Movie, Square executives nonetheless felt that a certain amount of corporate restructuring was required, and so effective today, they have changed things rather drastically.
President Hisashi Suzuki will retain his position, although he did agree to a salary cut of roughly fifty percent. Additionally, his power in the company will apparently be diffused to strengthen the company's corporate structure. The executive board will also be drastically reorganized. Gone are CEO Tomoyuki Takechi, Vice-President Hironobu Sakaguchi, and company director Naoji Hiramatsu, who will now be replaced by a board comprised of a CEO, a CFO, and a number of outside board members. The resignations are effective immediately; however, the three will not actually be leaving Square. Instead, Sakaguchi will stay on as an executive producers of their products, under an exclusive contract, while Takechi and Hiramatsu will remain with the company as a contracting consultant and administrative executive respectively.
What impact this news will have on the state of the Final Fantasy series, remains to be seen, but a move of this significance cannot help but influence the course of Square's development. Hopefully, this change will be for the better.