(ATTN: UPDATES with more info in last 2 paras)
By Kim Han-joo
SEOUL, Jan. 10 (Yonhap) -- Kakao Corp., the operator of South Korea's top mobile messenger KakaoTalk, said Monday its nominee for a new co-CEO, Ryu Young-joon, has offered to resign over controversial stock selloffs.
Ryu, who has served as the chief of Kakao's payment arm, Kakao Pay, was named to lead the tech giant with incumbent co-CEO Yeo Min-soo on Nov. 25.
Ryu, however, has come under criticism after he, along with other senior executives, sold around 90 billion won (US$75 million) worth of Kakao Pay shares by exercising their stock options on Dec. 10. They collected around 46.9 billion won in profit.
His selloffs eventually led to Kakao Pay's stock price plunging from 208,500 won on Dec. 9 to 148,500 won as of Monday.
Kakao said its board of directors decided to accept Ryu's resignation.
Ryu, who joined Kakao in 2011, successfully led the initial public offering of Kakao Pay.
Kakao said Ryu will maintain his position as the chief of Kakao Pay until March, when the incoming chief, Shin Won-keun, takes office.
Shin is also one of the Kakao Pay executives who exercised stock options.
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