KakaoTalk chief ranks as wealthiest in IT field
After the Daum and KakaoTalk merger this month, Kim Bum-soo, KakaoTalk’s founder and the largest stakeholder in newly formed company Daum Kakao, has become the wealthiest individual in the local IT industry by stock ownership.
According to FnGuide on Thursday, the total value of stocks Kim owned as of Wednesday was 2.9 trillion won ($2.7 billion). Kim is the largest stakeholder in Daum Kakao, with 22.23 percent.
Previously, the highest position was held by close friend and rival Lee Hae-jin, chairman of NHN, who owns company stocks valued at 1.2 trillion won. Both men studied at Seoul National University and joined Samsung SDS in the same year. The two founded NHN in 2000 when Kim’s Hangame merged with Lee’s Naver, but Kim left NHN in 2007 and created KakaoTalk.
Excluding Kim and Lee, there is no other person in the IT industry who owns stocks exceeding 1 trillion won at face value. WeMade Entertainment’s Chairman Park Kwan-ho ranks third, with stocks said to be worth 347.6 billion won. Daum founder Lee Jae-woong is fourth with 308.6 billion won.
Kim Taek-jin, founder and head of the game company NCsoft, is fifth on the list with 288.8 billion won. Last year his stocks were worth more than 400 billion won, but after his company’s stocks fell, the face value of his stocks plunged nearly 30 percent.
BY LEE HAN-GIL [email@example.com]