Nexon America CEO steps down, returns to Korea

Officials at Nexon, South Korea's king of free-to-play online games, announced today that they are replacing the head of their North American offices.

Officials at Nexon, South Korea's king of free-to-play online games, announced today that they are replacing the head of their North American offices.

Daniel Kim, who split his time between California and Korea while heading up Nexon America for three years, is relocating back to Seoul to take on new duties with the company, officials said. Effective Sept. 1 he will be replaced by Min Kim who currently serves as the company's senior vice president of live games.

Min Kim helped oversee the establishment of Nexon America in 2005, and helped launch role-playing game MapleStory here.

Min Kim tells Polygon that company officials decided that it was the right time for Nexon and Daniel to make the move.

"We have been discussing this transition with him for some time and Daniel decided he was ready to move back to his home in Seoul to be with his family and contribute to Nexon's growth in new ways," Min Kim said. "After more than three years of commuting from Seoul, where his wife and children live, Daniel was ready to relocate back to his home. I'm extremely grateful that the board has selected me to follow in Daniels footsteps and take Nexon America forward.

"Daniel's new role has not been finalized yet. But he will be missed at Nexon America. He has shown great leadership and is a valuable executive at Nexon."

"I'm committed to our players, our employees, and our shareholders, and I will do my best to deliver for all three."

Seungwoo Choi, president and CEO of Nexon, also thanked Daniel Kim in a prepared statement.

"We thank Daniel for his many contributions and leadership in North America, and look forward to leveraging his talents in Korea to help continue to grow Nexon's business," he said. "Looking ahead, Nexon is extremely well-positioned to capture the growth opportunities in North America enabled by the ongoing proliferation of high-speed broadband and the increasing popularity of the free-to-play business model. Min has been with Nexon America from the beginning and brings exceptional expertise, industry depth and leadership to this role. He is the right person to lead Nexon America forward."

Nexon was founded in Seoul, Korea in 1994, moving its headquarters to Tokyo, Japan when it went public in 2011. The company has eleven subsidiaries and is behind a slew of popular free-to-play games such as KartRider, MapleStory and Combat Arms.

In July, Nexon and EA announced a partnership that has the two developing and publishing EA Sports FIFA Online 3 in Korea later this year.

As for the future of Nexon America, Min Kim said he has high expectations.

"Daniel has done an excellent job of growing the business over the past three years," Min Kim told Polygon. "Dan and I have worked closely together as you have personally witnessed, and I will be continuing a lot of what we have started together to continue Nexon America's growth story. This August marks my ninth year at Nexon, and I'm excited to author some of my own chapters to the company's history. I'm committed to our players, our employees, and our shareholders, and I will do my best to deliver for all three."

Min Kim serves on the board for the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences, the Americas Advisory Board for the Merchant Risk Council and the board of advisors for the Game Developers Conference Online. Prior to Nexon, Min Kim was an investment banking analyst in the media group of Salomon Smith Barney in New York. He holds a Bachelor's degree in Mathematics-Statistics from Columbia College.

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