Coupang founder and CEO Kim Bom-seok can exercise 29 votes per stock after the company is listed on the New York Stock Exchange. It is to have stable management rights through dual class shares.
Korea's largest e-commerce company announced Sunday that Kim would exclusively own class B stocks which give him 29 times more votes per stock. It is a “super stock” different from class A stocks which come with one vote per stock. One percent of the class B stocks would give the owner 29 percent of the votes, which would help him maintain the actual management right. But the dual class right is nullified when he sells, gives or inherits the stock.
The dual class right gives more votes to the stocks owned by a founder or CEO to support stable business operation and protect businesses against hostile takeovers or management interference of speculative capital. It has been a recurring theme in the talks in financial circles but has been frustrated every time due to the controversy over corporate privileges. Some analytics believe that Kim chose the U.S. stock exchange, not South Korea, for the dual class right which is not allowed in the Korean stock market.
According to the report, Kim received 14.34 million dollars last year including the annual salary of 886,000 dollars, stocks and awards.