Kakao is South Korea’s Highest Paying Employer

Michael Song, Dec. 24, 2015, 9:33 a.m.

The salaries paid by Korea's most generous employer are higher than in Japan, but Japanese earn more on average than Koreans. IT giant Kakao was the top-paying employer in Korea with an average annual salary of W174 million last year, according to a study by market watcher CEO Score of 100 businesses on Wednesday (US$1=W1,177). 

But while the average annual salary of Korean companies stands at W66.8 million, in Japan it is a far more generous W81.7 million. The Japanese wages were based on an exchange rate of W920.26 per 100 yen. Kakao's average annual salary was W22 million higher than at Japan's top-paying company Keyence Corporation, a sensor-maker, which paid W152 million. 

But Kang Yoo-kyung at Kakao explained that after portal Daum and Kakao merged last year, the original employees of Kakao cashed in their stock options, which led to the high average earnings data. In fact the average wage in 2013 was only W51 million. Five companies in Korea paid average annual salaries of more than W100 million, and 19 in Japan. 

The other top-paying companies here are Shinhan Financial Group (W107 million), and Samsung Electronics, SK Telecom and KB Financial Group (W102 million). In Japan, the second and third-highest payers are Nomura Securities (145 million) and Itochu Corporation (128 million).


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