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Socar CEO steps down after Tada comes to an end

Socar CEO Lee Jae-woong (Yonhap)
Socar CEO Lee Jae-woong (Yonhap)

Socar CEO Lee Jae-woong said Friday that he was stepping down from the top position to take responsibility for the suspension of van-hailing service Tada. Socar is the parent company of Tada operator VCNC.

His announcement comes a day after VCNC said it would “indefinitely terminate” the service April 10. 

Lee “failed to secure Tada drivers’ employment, failed to keep the investors’ trust and (his) colleagues’ dream for innovation,” he wrote on Facebook on Friday. He added that he had “lost in the end” because he failed to persuade society.

Socar Chief Operation Officer and VCNC CEO Park Jae-wook will take over Lee’s position, he added. 

The end of Tada follows a vote by South Korean lawmakers to amend the transportation law last week, in an attempt to put an end to the conflict between the service operator and taxi companies prior to the general election in April. 

According to the amended law, ride-hailing companies will only be able to use rental vans with 11-15 seats at limited pickup points at airports or seaports. 

Socar also released a statement Friday saying the company had held a board meeting and decided to scrap the company’s plans to spin off the business into a car-sharing unit under Socar and a ride-sharing unit under VCNC. 

Lee founded Socar as a car-sharing service in 2011. The Tada app was launched in 2018 and has garnered 1.7 million registered users, while its outsourced drivers number around 12,000. 

By Kim Da-sol (