[THE INVESTOR] Kim Jung-ju, founder of Korea’s largest game developer Nexon, has vowed not to hand over control of the company to his children.
“I won’t be passing down Nexon to my kids,” Kim said in a statement on May 29, the day he promised to donate at least 100 billion won (US$92.40 million) to build children’s hospitals and foster young entrepreneurs.
He explained that during his court trials, he read news reports saying that the government has formally designated Nexon as a “quasi-conglomerate.”
“This made me look back at my life, at the small company I started with my friends back in 1994,” he noted
Ruling out any chance of handing over management control of Nexon to his offspring, Kim said the firm would be led by seasoned managers in order to keep up the transparent and fair corporate culture that has helped it achieve innovation for the past years.
The Nexon founder currently serves as the chairman of NXC, holding company of the game giant. NXC is an unlisted company owned by Kim and his wife. In turn, NXC owns a 57.8 percent stake in Nexon Japan, which holds the entire stake in Nexon Korea.
Earlier this month, Kim had a turning point in his life when he was cleared of charges after being indicted for allegedly offering his old-time friend and former senior prosecutor Jin Kyung-joon the game company’s shares for free between 2005 and 2014.
Jin allegedly took 425 million won from Kim in 2005, and bought unlisted shares with the money and sold them at 1 billion won to purchase Nexon Japan’s shares in 2006. When the stock value of the Japanese branch soared in 2011, the former prosecutor made about 12 billion won in profit by selling his shares. The scandal had grabbed headlines at the time, and Kim’s reputation was in tatters.
In January this year, Kim opened Nexon Foundation. His latest donation, he said, is his way of giving back to society after causing so much controversy.
By Kim Young-won (firstname.lastname@example.org)