Daum Kakao to change its name to Kakao

September 1, 2015


SEOUL (Yonhap) — Daum Kakao Corp., the operator of South Korea’s top mobile messenger, KakaoTalk, said Tuesday it will seek to change its company name to Kakao at the upcoming shareholder meeting, as part of a push into solidifying its identity as a mobile platform provider.

Daum Kakao is the entity that was formed when leading search engine operator Daum Corp. and Kakao Corp., the creator of the KakaoTalk app, merged in October.

The new name will help bolster the corporate brand as a mobile life platform maker, which isn’t fully expressed through the current name representing two merged firms, the company said.

The proposal will be put to a vote at the preliminary shareholder meeting on Sept. 23, the company said in a statement.

It will also ask for shareholder approval on appointing its new chief executive, Rim Ji-hoon, who was named by the company early last month to take the helm of the venture firm, it added.

Such a move by Daum Kakao has been widely expected by market watchers. As soon as the company announced its new head in August, media speculated on the possible resignation of Choi Se-hun, one of the current co-CEOs at Daum Kakao who hails from the Daum side.

The company has remained silent on the rumor.

Their merger plan drew public attention since it was the biggest takeover deal in South Korea’s IT venture industry in years.

Although Daum was the larger of the two companies, there was no question that the takeover was spearheaded by Kakao from the start. Daum, one of the earliest IT ventures in the country, had been suffering a slump.

The merger paved an instant way for Kakao to list itself on the secondary KOSDAQ bourse through a backdoor listing.

Daum Kakao has made aggressive efforts to roll out various mobile platforms in recent months, with its latest cab-hailing app becoming a success on robust demand.

KakaoTalk, the most popular mobile messenger in South Korea, has 38 million users in the country with a population of 50 million.