Wattpad has officially named KB Nam as its president after serving in an interim capacity for several months.
Nam assumes this permanent position after Wattpad laid off 15 percent of its employees in March, when he was working as an interim role president at that time.
Prior to leading Wattpad, Nam was the head of strategy and research at Naver Webtoon.
Nam was initially hired as interim president in December 2022, following significant leadership changes at Wattpad.
When Wattpad’s founding CEO Allen Lau stepped aside to transition into an advisory role in May 2022, president Jeanne Lam took over Lau’s leadership. Lam then left Wattpad at the end of 2022, and was replaced by Nam, who came from Naver’s Webtoon subsidiary, as interim president.
In addition to leading Wattpad, Nam has also been named president of Yonder, the web novel platform that Naver’s Webtoon division launched in 2022, one year Naver acquired Wattpad.
According to Naver, Yonder is different from Wattpad because it provides premium titles to readers. Premium titles are the platform’s curated content. Unlike Wattpad, which invites any user to publish their own written work, Yonder’s content is hand-picked by the company.
As president of both Wattpad and Yonder, Nam continues to report to Ken Kim, president of Webtoon Americas.
Founded in 2006 by Lau and chief innovation officer Ivan Yuen, Wattpad’s website and app allows users to read and publish original written work such as articles, fanfiction, and poems, among others. It claims to have a community of more than 94 million people, including five million writers. To date, around 1,500 stories that were created on Wattpad have been published as books or adapted for TV and film.
Naver revealed its intent to acquire Wattpad in January 2021 for an estimated $754 million CAD ($600 million USD). After the transaction was completed in May of that year, Naver combined the respective production studios of Wattpad and web comic-focused Webtoon, investing $100 million USD in the merged entity.
Nam brings years of experience as a business executive. Prior to his appointment as interim president of Wattpad, Nam was the head of strategy and research at Naver Webtoon, where he managed teams that were responsible for the company’s operations, partnerships, and investments.
Featured image from Wattpad.