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South Korea’s Kakao founder steps down from board to focus on global expansion of his units

Kakao messaging app and Kakao T taxi booking app are seen on a mobile phone in this illustrative photo from March 13, 2018. REUTERS/Thomas White/Illustration/Files

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SEOUL, March 14 (Reuters) – South Korean billionaire Brian Kim, founder of the country’s leading chat app operator Kakao Corp (035720.KS), has resigned from his board of directors to focus on global expansion of the activities of its subsidiaries, the company said on Monday.

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

A Kakao subsidiary acquired two U.S. storytelling apps for $950 million last year for global expansion, after its success with online web cartoons or “webtoons” at home and in overseas markets spurred led Piccoma to become one of Japan’s highest-grossing mobile apps outside of games. Read more

The move comes after Kakao’s financial services subsidiary Kakao Pay Corp (377300.KS) saw its chief executive and two other executives resign amid heavy criticism over their exercise of stock options shortly after listing. the company’s stock market last November. Read more

Shares of Kakao rose 3.4% in Monday’s trading, compared to a 0.5% drop in the broader market (.KS11).

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Reporting by Joyce Lee; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips

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