Kakao Bosses Are Korea's Highest-Paid Executives

  • By Shin Eun-jin, Kim Kang-han, Jang Hyeong-tae

    August 17, 2022 11:22

    Two Kakao CEOs who have now left the mobile app giant were the highest-paid executives in Korea in the first half of this year, according to business reports of major listed companies published Tuesday. 
    Joh Su-yong and Yeo Min-soo left the company in February with a golden parachute of a total of W36.15 billion and W33.22 billion, respectively (US$1=W1,308). They received only W700 million and W200 million in severance pay but earned the rest from stock options. 
    Joh earned W33.75 billion by selling 450,000 Kakao stocks at strike prices of between W17,070 and W20,116 per share when the company's stock was valued at W94,100. 
    Yeo sold 425,000 stocks for a gain of W31.82 billion. Several other current and former Kakao executives also bagged billions of won by selling stock options.  
    Yeo Min-soo (left) and Joh Su-yong
    SK Hynix vice chairman Park Sung-wook was the highest-paid incumbent executive with a salary of W600 million and another W600 million in incentives and bonuses. He also earned W8.43 billion by selling 99,600 share options early this year.
    Other SK executives also ranked high. SK Hynix vice chairman Park Jung-ho earned W8.76 billion, and Solidigm CEO Lee Seok-hee, who quit as SK Hynix CEO in March, bagged a total of W8.42 billion, including W4.6 billion in severance pay.
    At Samsung Electronics, the fattest cats were chairman Kim Ki-nam (W3.2 billion), and advisors Kwon Oh-hyun (W3.1 billion), Yoon Boo-keun (W2.6 billion), Koh Dong-jin (W2.6 billion), and Shin Jong-kyun (W2.6 billion), followed by vice chairman Han Jong-hee (W2 billion). 
    Lotte chairman Shin Dong-bin was the highest-paid conglomerate owner in the first half with a total of W10.29 billion in salaries from seven companies, including Lotte Holdings, Lotte Chemical, Lotte Confectionery and Lotte Hotel. 
    Next came LG chairman Koo Kwang-mo (W7.14 billion), Hanwha chairman Kim Seung-youn (W5.4 billion), GS chairman Huh Tae-soo (W5.37 billion), and CJ chairman Lee Jay-hyun (W4.97 billion). 
    SK Group chairman Chey Tae-won bagged W1.75 billion and Hyundai chairman Chung Eui-sun W3.25 billion. Samsung chief Lee Jae-yong has received neither salary nor bonuses since March 2017 because he has been in and out of jail.  
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