Whon Namkoong, the co-chief executive of Kakao, has resigned after a fire incident at a data center caused a mass outage over the weekend and disrupted several services at Kakao.
Namkoong, who joined Kakao in 2015, was elevated to the co-CEO role this March. At a press conference Wednesday, he said the company will do its best to restore the faith of users.
KakaoTalk is the most popular messaging app in South Korea, reaching over 47 million of the nation’s 51.7 million population each month. The app is also used by government officials, banks, ride-hailing services, and payment players.
South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol said on Monday that KakaoTalk is practically a national communications infrastructure. Shares of Kakao tumbled on Monday but recovered slightly on Namkoong’s departure announcement.
Namkoong apologized for the mass outage “for such an extended period” and said at the conference that he feels “the heavy burden of responsibility” over the incident.
Kakao’s slow recovery process was caused by the company’s lack of owned server infrastructure and “high dependence” on the SK C&C data center, which caught fire, analysts at Bernstein said in a report this week. Kakao also didn’t have a well distributed backup system, they added.
(More to follow)