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KAIST Computer Science, Master
Seoul National University Computer Science
Sangmoon High School
US$1.9B ▲ US$25K
Lee Hae-jin was born in Seoul in 1967. He studied computer science at Seoul National University and KAIST before joining Samsung SDS in 1992.
He left the company in 1999 to set up Navercom (currently Naver) which was originally an in-house venture at Samsung. The next year he joined hands with Kim Beom-su, who joined Samsung SDS the same year, merging Kim’s game portal Hangame.
The two oversaw Naver together, listing the company (2002) and putting it at the top of Web portals (2004), before Kim left to set up Kakao Corp. in 2010. Lee took the helm of the company as chairman of the board in 2013.
He was heavily fined by Fair Trade Commission for unfair business practice through a dominant market position in 2008 and in 2013 but Naver appealed and won. In return Naver raised a fund of 100 billion won to help smaller Internet firms coexist.
He tries to stay away from media limelight but in 2013 when the mobile messenger Line recorded 300 million users, he made a public appearance for the first time in 12 years.