Kik Interactive adds Head of Strategy and Chief People Officer to its management team

Waterloo-based Kik Interactive announced that it has added two executives to its management, one of which worked at competitor LINE as the head of strategy and operations.

That exec, Jae Kim, is being appointed as the head of strategy and partnerships and “will oversee the data, business and U.S. operations teams, and will build Kik’s partner and developer ecosystems to deliver great chat experiences for American youth.”

While at LINE, Kim doubled the size of Line’s U.S. headquarters, overseeing all aspects of the business. Before that, he was president of Cleartrip, an online travel startup, and an investment banker at JPMorgan, where he focused on technology mergers and acquisitions for 15 years. Kim will work out of Kik’s Los Angeles office.

The second executive, Alim Dhanji will move from the chat network’s board of directors to become the company’s first chief people officer, focusing on “scaling Kik’s workforce and strengthening its culture.” He’ll be pushing the growth of Kik’s workforce and developing its culture as the company looks to double its workforce within the next year. He will also lead Kik’s privacy, trust and safety teams to improve user safety.

“Alim and Jae both met the requirements for their respective positions with flying colors”

Prior to joining Kik, Dhanji was senior vice president at TD Bank Group and held senior executive roles at Citigroup and KPMG where he focused on culture, talent management, and building high-performance teams. He will be based at the company’s Waterloo headquarters.

“During the process, Alim and Jae both met the requirements for their respective positions with flying colors,” said Ted Livingston, founder and CEO of Kik. “What really drew me and the rest of the team to them was the fact that they were great culture fits ? humble, hardworking and team players ? which is extremely hard to find when hiring for senior roles.”

Both hires come on the heels of Kik’s launch of Kik codes and an important investment by Tencent, the company behind WeChat.

The company’s hiring spree doesn’t seem to be stopping there either; as can be seen from Kik’s career page, Kik is hiring “aggressively” for its offices in Waterloo, New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles.