S.Korean chat app Kakao’s co-CEO steps down after outage, public backlash
SEOUL -Kakao Corp’s co-CEO Namkoong Whon has stepped down, the company said on Wednesday, after an outage that shut down South Korea’s largest mobile chat app and other services, triggering widespread backlash from authorities and the public.
The resignation, effective as of Wednesday, leaves co-CEO Hong Euntaek as sole CEO.
The company apologised on Wednesday for the outage that started on Saturday due to a fire at a data centre run by SK C&C near Seoul.
Most of its systems were restored by Wednesday, but miscellaneous functions remain shaky and disruptions to a wide range of services from payments to taxis and restaurant bookings have raised questions about public reliance on the app.
KakaoTalk, launched in 2010, has more than 47 million active accounts in South Korea, making it one of the most ubiquitous apps in the country of 51.6 million.
More than 500 small businesses complained about lost sales due to the Kakao outage, lobby group Korea Federation of Micro Enterprise said.