Kakao’s Co-CEO Resigns Following Mass Outage at South Korea’s Top Chat App

Namkoong Whon as Co-CEO of Kakao Corp, South Korea’s top mobile messenger KakaoTalk, resigned and apologized after a fire at a data center outage over the weekend disrupted services for 53 million users worldwide.

He was appointed as CEO in March. The website Kakao reported 47.5 million active users in South Korea during the 2Q2022, more than 90% of South Korea’s population of 51.74 million people. The share price of the company increased by 4% in South Korea’s morning session.

“I feel the heavy burden of responsibility over this incident and will step down from my position as CEO and lead the emergency disaster task force overseeing the aftermath of the incident,” Namkoong said at a press conference at the company’s office in Seoul on Wednesday.

“We will do our best to restore our users’ faith in Kakao and make sure incidents like these never happen again,” he said.

Meanwhile, Hong Eun-taek, who co-led the company with Namkoong, will continue to be the sole CEO, according to a company filing.

“We sincerely apologize to all those that have suffered from the disruptions during the outage,” Hong said as he bowed alongside Namkoong.