Staff Reporters
Jun 17, 2021

Asia-Pacific Power List 2021: Jun Masuda, Line Corp

The former Baidu exec is one of Line’s triumvirate and has helped to drive a significant expansion of its services. His role is becoming ever-more critical as the messaging app prepares for a global push as a new merged entity.

Asia-Pacific Power List 2021: Jun Masuda, Line Corp
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Jun Masuda

Director, chief strategy and marketing officer
Line Corp
Japan
New member 

Jun Masuda certainly fits the power bill. Responsible for the strategy and marketing of Japan and Thailand’s most popular social network, he is one of Line’s triumvirate alongside co-chief executive officer Shin Jung-ho and CEO Takeshi Idezawa.

Masuda has been a senior executive at Line for nearly 13 years, but he joins the Power List at an important time in the company’s history. In March, Line, which is co-owned by Japan’s Softbank Group and South Korea’s Naver Corp, merged with SoftBank’s affiliate Yahoo Japan under a new entity called Z Holdings. In its annual report, Naver said the integration is expected to lead to a substantial expansion of the user base of both Line and Yahoo Japan. To facilitate this, Softbank has committed to invest 500 billion Japanese yen (US$4.7 billion) and hire 5,000 AI engineers to make the entity more competitive in the global market. Masuda, who is a director and board member of Z Holdings, is set to play a pivotal role in Line’s global ambitions. That Line is now merged with search means Masuda has come full circle—the executive joined Line in 2008 from search engine Baidu Japan where he led product and marketing.

Since he joined the company, Line has expanded significantly. Line was launched as a messaging app in Japan in 2011 and is now the leading social platform in the country with roughly 86 million users, or 68% of the population on the app. Much like China’s WeChat and South Korea’s KakaoTalk, it has evolved into a superapp with services across news, banking, healthcare and more. Masuda has presented several of Line’s innovations at its annual conference, and serves as representative director in subsidiaries Line Ventures, Line Music and Line Ticket. 

Line has also captured growth beyond Japan. It is the most popular social network in Thailand and third in Taiwan. According to Naver’s 2020 Annual Report, Line counts 165 million monthly active users (MAUs) across Japan and Southeast Asia. Globally, that figure rises to 182 million MAUs.

SEE THE FULL 2021 POWER LIST
Asia-Pacific’s 50 most influential and purposeful marketers
#LeadersForGood
 

 

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