Former executives of Korean Internet giant Naver are emerging as the number one sought-after group by local large businesses such as Samsung Electronics and SK Telecom.
According to industry sources on March 27, SK Telecom is going to recruit Cho Young-hwan, the current CEO of NHN Search Marketing.
The CEO joined Naver in 2011, and served as the head of KaN Communications, a joint venture between NHN Business Platform (NBP) and KT. He is scheduled to work as an executive in charge of all of SK Telecom’s marketing intelligence projects starting in April.
An industry source said, “As far as I know, Mr. Cho will be responsible for customer marketing, which SK Telecom has never tried before.”
Earlier this month, Samsung Electronics hired Yoon Dae-kyun, former CEO of NHN Technology Services, as a senior vice president of the Media Solutions Center. Yoon started his career at Naver in 2006, and also served as head of two other NHN subsidiaries, NHN Convergence Center and NHN Business Platform.
In fact, the effort to recruit Naver executives has been around for years. In 2010, Samsung hired Ham Jong-min, a vice president at Naver in charge of customer service, as a chief service manager at the Media Solutions Center. In 2013, the tech giant also recruited Kim Kyu-ho, former director of Hangame operated by NHN Entertainment Corporation, as a managing director.
SK Telecom, on the other hand, hired Wi Eui-seok, who served as head of Naver’s search ad platform, as Executive Vice President and Head of Product Planning Division in 2012. In the same year, LG Electronics also recruited Choi Sung-ho, who was responsible for Naver’s portal service management, as the head of the Smart Business Group.
An industry source explained, “Local large companies appear to be trying to integrate Naver’s expertise for its success into their business structures to quickly respond to the rapidly-changing IT environment.”
Some in the industry think that large businesses lure too many high performance workers away from the IT industry.