Bloomberg the Company & Products

Bloomberg Anywhere Login

Bloomberg

Connecting decision makers to a dynamic network of information, people and ideas, Bloomberg quickly and accurately delivers business and financial information, news and insight around the world.

Company

Financial Products

Enterprise Products

Media

Customer Support

  • Americas

    +1 212 318 2000

  • Europe, Middle East, & Africa

    +44 20 7330 7500

  • Asia Pacific

    +65 6212 1000

Communications

Industry Products

Media Services

Follow Us

Nexon Names Mahoney CEO as Japan Gamemaker Seeks U.S. Growth

Don't Miss Out —
Follow us on:
Owen Mahoney
Owen Mahoney, newly named chief executive officer of Nexon Co. Source: Nexon Co. via Bloomberg

Feb. 13 (Bloomberg) -- Nexon Co., the Japanese maker of online games including “MapleStory” and “Combat Arms,” named American Owen Mahoney chief executive officer as it seeks growth and acquisitions in the U.S. and other Western markets.

Mahoney, 47, currently chief financial officer, replaces Choi Seung Woo who is retiring, according to a statement from the Tokyo-based company. Nexon today reported a 4.4 billion yen ($43.1 million) net loss for the quarter ending December, compared with a 552 million yen profit a year ago.

The company is seeking to expand its user base as the industry transitions to customers playing free online games as well as traditional console titles. Mahoney, who joined Nexon from Electronic Arts Inc. in 2010, is set to take the post March 25, adding his name to a short list of non-Japanese running companies in the country.

“We want to build a bigger presence in the West than we have so far,” Mahoney said today by phone. “Obviously, I am a Westerner and was born and raised in San Francisco, and although I spent a lot of my career in Asia, in Japan, Korea and China, I really believe there is a huge opportunity in the West that is largely untapped.”

Nexon took stakes in four companies last year and acquired a fifth to help gain North American users. The company said in September it would make a cash equity investment in Shiver Entertainment founded by former Zynga Inc. Chief Operating Officer John Schappert.

Deal Search

Revenue in the fourth quarter rose 12 percent to 34.5 billion yen, the company reported today. Operating income fell 96 percent to 327 million yen.

In September, the company agreed to buy Thingsoft, an online game development studio based in Seoul, South Korea, that helped develop the FIFA Online 1 title. In July, Nexon announced strategic investments in Redwood City, California-based Rumble Entertainment Inc. and Baltimore, Maryland-based SecretNewCo.

The buying spree isn’t over, Mahoney said today. It is the “best timing” for expansion in the West, he said, without identifying any targets.

As a non-Japanese chief, Mahoney travels a path trod by Nissan Motor Co. CEO Carlos Ghosn and Howard Stringer, the former Sony Corp. president. In 2012, Craig Naylor resigned as CEO of Tokyo-based Nippon Sheet Glass Co., citing a clash with the board.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jungah Lee in Seoul at jlee1361@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Tighe at mtighe4@bloomberg.net

Please upgrade your Browser

Your browser is out-of-date. Please download one of these excellent browsers:

Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Opera or Internet Explorer.