The Korea Herald


Kakao founder Kim Beom-su appointed Korea National Opera board of directors chief

By Park Ga-young

Published : Aug. 2, 2023 - 16:32

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Kakao founder Kim Beom-su (Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism) Kakao founder Kim Beom-su (Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism)

Kim Beom-su, the founder of South Korean internet juggernaut Kakao, will take charge of the sponsorship of performances for the Korea National Opera as the chief of its board of directors for the next three years, according to the Culture Ministry.

Kim, who currently serves as the head of Kakao's Future Initiative Center, succeeds Seo Jeong-jin, the founder of biopharmaceutical giant Celltrion, in the non-executive role. This position has previously been held by other prominent corporate executives, including the late Lee Woon-hyung, former chairperson of SeAH Group, Lee Ku-taek, former chairperson of Posco, and Park Yong-maan, former chairperson of Doosan Group.

"I anticipate that Kim's expertise as a businessperson from a prominent South Korean IT and cultural content company, along with his extensive experience in social contributions in the culture and arts sector, will play a vital role in propelling the Korea National Opera toward a future of growth," Park Bo-gyoon, Korea's minister of culture, sports and tourism, said in a press release.

Kim founded Hangame, the country’s first online game portal, in 1999. Hangame later became NHN after merging with South Korea's largest search engine company, Naver, in 2000.

Kim left NHN in 2009 and introduced messaging app Kakao Talk in 2010. The app became hugely popular and in 2014 his company merged with Daum Communications, the second-largest web portal in the country, hailing the birth of an IT giant.

The merger also helped Kim join the billionaires' club of self-made IT entrepreneurs along with Naver's Lee Hae-jin, Nexon’s Kim Jung-ju and NCSoft’s Kim Taek-jin.

Founded in 1962, the National Opera Company has been introducing timeless classics and new operas to Korean audiences.