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Microsoft CEO discusses cooperation with SK, NCSoft chiefs

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella speaks at Microsoft’s developer conference in Seoul on Tuesday. (Yonhap)
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella speaks at Microsoft’s developer conference in Seoul on Tuesday. (Yonhap)

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella on Tuesday met with chiefs of SK Group, South Korea’s second-largest conglomerate, and NCSoft, the country’s game giant, to discuss future cooperation.

According to industry sources familiar with the matter, Nadella sat down with SK Group Chairman Chey Tae-won, SK Square CEO Park Jung-ho and NCSoft CEO Kim Taek-jin in Seoul.

The Microsoft chief’s meeting with SK leaders was a sign of the continued partnership between the two sides. In 2019, Park, who was then the CEO of SK Telecom, signed a strategic alliance with Nadella’s Microsoft to collaborate in the areas of artificial intelligence, cloud, game and the internet of things. SK Square spun off from SK Telecom in November last year as an investment company with a focus on the semiconductor and ICT industries.

“SK Telecom has launched a game for Xbox. (Microsoft) has shares in app market operator One Store. Such collaborations have continuously taken place. You would assume (Nadella and SK leaders) discussed something further along the line,” said an IT industry official.

Microsoft owns and operates Xbox, one of the most popular video game consoles in the world. SK Square is the largest shareholder of One Store.

As for the sit-down with the head of NCSoft, industry insiders said Nadella and Kim probably discussed console game businesses as the Korean game maker is looking to release its new game for the console. It was the second meeting between Nadella and Kim since they met in Korea in November 2018.

NCSoft’s upcoming titles for the console include Throne and Liberty, a massively multiplayer online role-playing game set for release next year, and LLL, a third-person shooting game scheduled to be launched in 2024.

Later in the day, the Microsoft CEO delivered his keynote speech at the company’s developer conference on how digital has become imperative. The trip to Korea marked Nadella’s first visit in four years.

Nadella was also expected to meet Samsung Electronics Chairman Lee Jae-yong during his stay in Seoul, but no details about such a face-to-face gathering were disclosed.



By Kan Hyeong-woo (hwkan@heraldcorp.com)
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