Chief Executive Officer
Grand Korea Leisure
POWER SCORE: 540
POSITION LAST YEAR: THE NEXT 5
CLAIMS TO FAME
- Former Director of Planning and Coordination Office for Korea’s Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism
A FORMER DIRECTOR of the Culture and Arts Policy Office and of the Planning and Coordination Office for the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, Kim Young-san was appointed CEO of state-owned, foreigner-only casino operator Grand Korea Leisure in August 2021 – right at the peak of the nation’s COVID-19 fight.
The 12 months since has been anything but a walk in the park for the 59-year-old, with GKL notching a US$94 million loss in 2021 from its three Korean casinos, comprising two casinos in Seoul and one in Busan under the Seven Luck brand.
However, the signs have been positive since Korea lifted key pandemic restrictions in June, with GKL booking three straight months of strong gains – highlighted by a 169% year-on-year and 11% sequential improvement in casino revenue to KRW25.4 billion (US$17.9 million) in August.
That gives Kim another two years to steady the ship completely. Under South Korea’s Act on the Management of Public Institutions, the heads of public corporations are appointed by the President on the recommendation of the Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism, with Kim having been granted a three-year term when he was named to replace Yoo Tae-Yeol last year.
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