Wemade, a 22-year-old game developer from South Korea announced on July 12th that its CEO Henry Chang exercised his stock options and bought 223,504 shares for an astonishing USD 2.67 million (KRW 3,5 billion) and did not sell a single share. As a result, Henry’s stake in Wemade reached 1.5%.
This is not the first time Henry has shown his dedication to the firm. In fact, he announced earlier this year his pledge to invest all his present salary and dividends in WEMIX coin. Wemade announced on June 30th Henry’s purchase of 13,424.6 WEMIX coin (worth USD 38,125.86) with the salary he received from the same month. This brings his total investment to 51,258.354 WEMIX coin (worth USD 145,573.7). This is also the fourth time he invested his salary in WEMIX Coin, in addition to his dividends from last year.
Henry has constantly fulfilled his promise to contribute his compensation to the sustainable development of the Wemix ecosystem. He also stressed that he does not plan to sell a single share purchased through the exercise of his stock options.
CEO compensation packages are part of corporate governance mechanisms. Companies often offer their CEOs stock options that tie CEO’s compensation to the company’s stock performance which creates incentives for CEOs to manage the firm and work hard in ways that maximize firm market value.
Often misunderstood, stock options are criticized for inducing top management to pursue strategies that only push the stock price up in the short term. This would benefit opportunist CEOs who time the exercise of their stock options to when the stock price is high and sell their newly acquired shares at a premium.
Henry is the only known CEO in South Korea to invest in his company’s stock despite very high volatility in the capital markets.
Henry’s move is highly contrary to few CEOs who exercised their stock options to sell the shares last year, only six to twelve months after the companies were listed.
One of the most publicized cases was the selloff of eight executives from a fintech company affiliated with a messenger service platform group, of over 400,000 combined shares received from their stock options. The executives’ mass selloffs, although within the firm’s regulatory bounds, enraged minority shareholders, as it took place less than two months after the company went public in October 2021. The incoming CEO voluntarily resigned amid growing criticism. Eventually, the backlash from the event led the group to install a lockup period of two years for CEOs following a firm’s initial public offering.
Henry reiterated his engagement in the firm’s long-term success and shareholder value. His dedication and hard work led Wemade to new heights. Recently the company announced USD 131 million in sales revenue for the first quarter of 2022 alone. This represents an astonishing 72% increase in net profit compared to last year.
Since Henry’s commitment has no limit, Wemade is expected to continue its winning streak with more achievements in both its video game development, publishing services, and its blockchain ecosystem.
Disclaimer: This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.