Amid a corporate crisis, South Korean tech giant Kakao has officially nominated Shina Chung, the current CEO of Kakao Ventures, as its new CEO. The decision was made during a director candidate recommendation committee meeting on December 13.
The move comes at a challenging time for Kakao, which is facing regulatory risks and a lawsuit from its former CEO, Rim Jinhoon, regarding performance bonus payments. Kakao CA Council Manager Kim Jeong-ho’s recent revelations added to the company’s challenges.
Shina Chung, 48, brings substantial experience to the role, joining Kakao Ventures in 2014 after working with Boston Consulting Group, eBay’s Asia-Pacific regional headquarters, and Naver. As CEO of Kakao Ventures since 2018, she has contributed significantly to building a robust IT ecosystem by investing in startups across various sectors.
The decision to appoint Chung as Kakao’s new CEO emphasizes the need for effective leadership during a phase of significant change. Kakao highlighted her professional knowledge, deep understanding of IT challenges, and extensive experience in the venture capital (VC) field.
Chung, who has been a non-executive director since March 2023, will expand her role to oversee the entire business division within the CA council, participating in discussions on the direction of reform.
Expressing a sense of responsibility, Chung emphasized active, responsible management, focusing on core business areas to meet societal expectations and drive Kakao’s future growth. She stressed the urgency of taking advantage of the timing for change.
Kakao’s decision to appoint new leadership aligns with Chairman Kim Beom-soo’s earlier acknowledgment that the company requires fundamental change. The official appointment of Shina Chung as Kakao’s new CEO is scheduled for the board of directors and general shareholders’ meeting in March 2024. This marks a strategic move for Kakao as it navigates challenges and positions itself for a new era.
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