The South Korean cocoa founder is leaving the board to focus on the global expansion of the units

Illustrative photo of the cocoa apps
The Kakao messaging application and the Kakao T taxi booking application are seen on a mobile phone in this illustrative photo dated March 13, 2018. REUTERS/Thomas White/Illustration/Files

March 14, 2022

SEOUL (Reuters) – South Korean billionaire Brian Kim, founder of the country’s leading chat app operator Kakao Corp, has resigned from its board of directors to focus on expanding its subsidiaries’ businesses globally, the company said on Monday.

Kim will focus on Kakao-backed Piccoma in Japan, one of the country’s top comics apps, as a base to look for more business opportunities and expand Kakao’s reach, the app operator said in a statement.

A subsidiary of Kakao last year acquired two US storytelling apps for $950 million for global expansion after Piccoma’s success with online-based web cartoons, or “webtoons,” domestically and internationally, made it one of Japan’s top-grossing mobile apps outside of games.

The move comes after Kakao’s financial services subsidiary, Kakao Pay Corp, saw its chief executive officer and two other executives resign amid criticism over the exercise of stock options shortly after the company’s public listing last November.

Shares of Kakao rose 3.4% during Monday trading, while the broader market was down 0.5%.

(Reporting by Joyce Lee; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips) The South Korean cocoa founder is leaving the board to focus on the global expansion of the units

Emma Bowman

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