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Economy

Naver Set to Appoint First Female CEO

By October 24, 2016 at 10:31 am
Inside Naver Corp

Internet giant, Naver has tapped a female executive to become its next CEO. Naver made the announcement on Sunday, creating excitement that Korea may soon have its first CEO of a major ICT company.

If Han Seong-sook's appointment is confirmed in a shareholders' meeting and board meeting next March, she will take over at the helm of affairs of the internet content service operator. There appears to be a generational shift at Naver Corporation, as Han is not only the first woman, but is also the first non-member of a chaebol owner family to lead one of the country's top 10 businesses.

She will take over from incumbent CEO, Kim Sang-hun, who will stay in the post until March and then become an advisor. Kim has had an interesting tenure since he became CEO in 2009. He oversaw the runaway global success of the company's Line messaging app. The company had grown to become an IT giant that is the country's sixth-biggest company in terms of its 28 trillion won market cap. But a source said he now feels it is time for a change at the top.  The company's founder, Lee Hae-jin, will also step down from his position as chairman, to focus on projects overseas. He will retain his title as a director of the board.

Han, 49, studied English Literature at Sookmyung Women's University in 1989.  She was among the founding members of Internet search portal Empas, which she joined in 1997 when the country's Internet services were in their early stages.

She joined Naver Corporation in 2007, using her expertise to make a huge contribution to Naver's move to go mobile and global. She had risen to become the Vice President of the company, gaining the trust of management and young employees alike.

She is single, married to her job, and knows all 2,400 Naver employees by name 

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