100 Next-Era CEOs in Asia 2014 -The region's best brightest, most promising-

AhnLab Inc.

CEO Kim Hong Sun

South Korea
Message to young people
It is easy for us to be content with the status quo and live while adjusting ourselves to a given situation. But changes that can change the times have been made by ambitious entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurship is based on creativity and professionalism. You live in an era of change with more opportunities being provided through globalization. If recognize your potential power and obtain a passion for using it and you will be able to spend a happy, meaningful time, regard less of whether you succeed or not.

My parents fled from what is now North Korea before the Korean War and started their life from scratch. My family was ordinary, but they held education in the highest regard. I was told that technology was more important than anything else. When I was a child, I wanted to be a scientist and work to create a new technology.

I majored in electronic engineering at university and worked as a part-timer mainly for circuit designing at companies. While I studied in America, I participated in various governmental projects as a research assistant. My encounter with Professor Robert Mitchell in America was a big turning point for me. He did not confine himself to the academic world and continued research while combining technologies that the industry needed.

The Internet began to spread in the mid-1990s. I considered what would be the most important factor in the forthcoming society to be built on the Internet. I concluded that information security would be the most crucial point. That is why I started a business that provides services for information security.

Initially, I had no intention of launching my own business. One day, an old friend invited me to join a certain business. I took part in the business indirectly at first, but later, I became fully involved. The business later became a part of AhnLab, which I became president of in 2008.

The first challenge I faced as president was the fact that AhnLab had gotten excessively satisfied with existing operations and became bureaucratic. My first job as president was to refresh the atmosphere among employees. I strove to bind their energy together to overcome the critical situation. We located fields where we had to focus our resources, improved communication with customers, quickened the implementation of new business projects and reformed the decision-making process. Engineers and other staff worked hard together while trusting the company's policy. We restructured the existing systems to make them friendlier to customers. We are now equipped with systems and capabilities that enable the quickest response to contain comprehensive attacks on networks, PCs and Web sites. Changes have been seen in the security solutions area as it is a kind of specialized service provider.

Company Profile

AhnLab Inc.
South Korea
Security solutions business