Ahn Cheol-soo

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This is a Korean name; the family name is Ahn.
Ahn Cheol-soo
Ahn Cheol-Soo.jpg
Member of the National Assembly
Assumed office
25 April 2013
Preceded by Roh Hoe-chan
Constituency Nowon 3rd (Seoul)
Personal details
Born (1962-02-26) February 26, 1962 (age 53)
Miryang, South Korea
Nationality South Korean
Political party Nonpartisan (2013–14; 2015–16)
New Politics Alliance for Democracy (2014–15)
People's Party (2016–present)
Spouse(s) Kim Mi-kyung
Children 1 daughter
Alma mater Seoul National University
University of Pennsylvania
Occupation Politician, professor, entrepreneur, researcher, programmer, physician
Known for V3 (antivirus software)
Ahn Cheol-soo
Hangul 안철수
Hanja 安哲秀
Revised Romanization An Cheol-su
McCune–Reischauer Ahn Ch'ŏlsu

Ahn Cheol-soo (Hangul안철수 [an tɕʰʌlsʰu]; born February 26, 1962), also known as Charles Ahn, is a South Korean businessman, politician, and former physician and professor.[3] He founded AhnLab, Inc. (also known as Ahnlab), an antivirus software company, in 1995. Until September 2012, Ahn was the dean of the Graduate School of Convergence Science and Technology at Seoul National University and also serves as chairman of the board of AhnLab and its Chief Learning Officer, and chairman of the board of Noritown Studio, originally an internal corporate venture of AhnLab, now operating as a separate entity. He is currently a member of the unicameral legislature, the National Assembly of South Korea.


Ahn was born on February 26, 1962 in Busan, South Korea. Growing up, Ahn was known to have loved to read books, at one point finishing every single book at his elementary school library.[4] He earned his undergraduate MD, MS and PhD in physiology at Seoul National University (1980 - 1991).

He individually researched computer antivirus software programs while at Seoul National University Hospital and Dankook University Hospital, and founded venture after finishing his military service as a naval medical officer. His research led to the creation of the V3 computer vaccine. Later AhnLab Inc became the largest computer security company in South Korea,[5][6] and has been included in recent annual lists of the Korea's most admired companies by Korea Management Association Consultants (KMCA).[7][8][9][10][11] He resigned as CEO in 2005, and since then he has been serving as chairman of the board. Ahn became an outside director of POSCO in 2005, and in 2010, he was appointed chairman of the company.

Ahn holds a MSE at the University of Pennsylvania (1997) and an MBA at the Wharton School in San Francisco campus (2008).

Following getting his MBA degree overseas, he became a professor at KAIST and starting in 2011, became dean of the Graduate School of Convergence Science and Technology at Seoul National University.[12]

In 1988 he married Kim Mi-kyung, who is currently a professor at the Seoul National University College of Medicine. Ahn has a daughter with Kim.[13]

IT Business[edit]

In March 1995, Ahn founded AhnLab, Inc. which became the country's leading antivirus software company.[14] Ahn insisted that McAfee had suggested it would acquire AhnLab for $10,000,000 but Ahn rejected the offer. He mentioned patriotic reasons about the decision saying that selling AhnLab might allow a foreign firm to dominate the Korean market.


In early September 2011, speculation spread that Ahn would enter politics by competing in the October 26 Seoul mayoral by-election. Analysts say that if positioned as an independent, Ahn would attract a degree of support from those disaffected by mainstream political parties in the wake of corruption allegations and continuing policy failures. Ahn's political motivation is very similar to Roh Moo-hyun-led popularity in 2002.[15]

He alluded to becoming the nominee for the president via his book Thoughts of Ahn Cheol-Soo.[16]

Campaign for Presidency[edit]

On September 19, 2012 at 3pm KST, Ahn held a press conference and announced his intention to run for the 2012 Presidential election. This announcement came after months of speculation on whether or not Ahn was going to run for the presidency. The South Korean presidential election was to be held on December 19, 2012. In an address that lasted around 20 minutes, Ahn spent a considerable amount of time explaining how he came to the decision to run for President of the Republic of Korea, quoting the people that he met during the time of discernment for the presidency that expressed their strong urge for the "new politics". Ahn at one point showed to be polling stronger than Moon Jae-in, with a few polls showing he could win against Park Geun-hye who would go onto win the election. On November 23, 2012 at 8:20 pm KST, Ahn announced that he would drop out of the race.,[17] and supported Moon Jae-in, the Democratic United Party presidential candidate.

National Assembly[edit]

On March 11, 2013, Ahn announced that he would run for a seat in the National Assembly of South Korea as an independent candidate in the by-election in the Nowon-gu Byeong (3rd) district. And he promised that he would finish his election campaign.[18] On 24 April 2013, he won the election, entering his first elected office.[19]

“Policy Network Tomorrow” Think Tank[edit]

On 22 May, Ahn Cheol-soo and announced his plan to launch a think tank. At a press conference, Ahn formally announced the launch of his think tank, named the “Policy Network Tomorrow,”.[20]


In December 2011, Ahn has expressed his willingness to donate half of his shares in AhnLab for the education of children from low-income families. He owns 37.1 percent of AhnLab shares, and as of 9 December 2011, the value of the shares to be donated is about 250 billion won ($218 million).[21]

He visited the U.S. in early 2012 to ask Microsoft founder Bill Gates about running a charity foundation.

Legal Problems[edit]

In September 2012, Ahn made a public apology as reports surfaced that his wife evaded taxes by under-pricing a 2001 apartment she bought worth ₩450 million to ₩250 million, thus reducing the acquisition and registration taxes by up to ₩10 million. However, a statement by the Korea Taxpayers' Association claimed that the down contract was in accordance to the trade customs and thus not unlawful due to flaws in the local tax law between 1996 and 2005.[22]


  • 2012. Thought of Ahn Cheol-Soo (안철수의 생각). 김영사. 276 pages. ISBN 9788934958710
  • 2009. Happy Virus by Ahn Cheol-soo (행복 바이러스 안철수: 안철수 박사가 쓴 안철수 이야기). 리젬. 136 pages. ISBN 9788992826259.[23]
  • 2009. My Mother Who Fostered My Ability (재능을 키워 준 나의 어머니). Jaeneung Academy. 143 pages. ISBN 9788976492456.
  • 2007. My Turning Point (내 인생의 결정적 순간: 그 순간이 없었으면 지금의 나는 없다). IMAGE Box. 247 pages. ISBN 9788991684348.
  • 2004. What We Need (CEO 안철수, 지금 우리에게 필요한 것은). KimYoung. 259 pages. ISBN 8934917202.
  • 2003. My Choice (나의 선택: 무엇이든지 하고 싶지만 쉽게 결단을 내리지 못하는 젊음에게). JeongEum. 231 pages. ISBN 8990164192.
  • 2001. Spiritual Showdown (CEO 안철수, 영혼이 있는 승부). KimYoung. 291 pages. ISBN 8934907525.
  • 2000. Ahn’s Internet Shortcut (안철수의 인터넷 지름길). BookMark. 396 pages. ISBN 8988351142.
  • 1997. Ahn’s Protection and Healing Computer Virus (안철수의 바이러스 예방과 치료). Information Age. 222 pages. ISBN 8985346865.
  • 1996. Analysing Computer Virus and Making Antivirus Software (바이러스 분석과 백신 제작). Information Age. 391 pages. ISBN 8985346180.
  • 1995. Eccentric Computer Doctor, Ahn Cheol-soo (별난 컴퓨터 의사 안철수). Vision. 336 pages. ISBN 8985456148.
  • 1995. Learning Computer Easily (컴퓨터, 참 쉽네요!). Youngjin. 396 pages. ISBN 8931406509.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "AhnLab". AhnLab. 2002-07-08. Retrieved 2010-01-22. 
  2. ^ Ahn Chul-soo: “Korea needs horizontal thinking to make a Nintendo game player.” at Korea Foundation.
  3. ^ 서울대, 안철수 융대원장 사직서 수리. Yonhap News (in Korean) (Seoul). September 20, 2012. Retrieved 2012-10-24. 
  4. ^ http://entertain.naver.com/read?oid=109&aid=0002032901
  5. ^ AhnLab Looks to Perform in International Stage at Korea Times.
  6. ^ AhnLab Considers Overseas M&A at Korea IT Times.
  7. ^ http://www.kmac.co.kr/certify/certify_01a_1.asp (Korean)
  8. ^ AhnLab, "The Korea's Most Admired company" Consecutive 5 years at Asia Economy (2008.02.20). (Korean)
  9. ^ "AhnLab". Kr.ahnlab.com. Retrieved 2010-01-22. 
  10. ^ Samsung Electronics Most Admired Company in Korea: Survey at Maeil Business Newspaper & mk.co.kr
  11. ^ Book review "세상에서 가장 안전한 이름 안철수 연구소" at The Hankyoreh. (Korean)
  12. ^ https://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/nation/2011/09/113_94248.html
  13. ^ http://news.mk.co.kr/newsRead.php?year=2012&no=610838 (Korean)
  14. ^ http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/20/world/asia/new-voice-in-south-korean-politics-enters-presidential-race.html?_r=0
  15. ^ Park (박), Jeong-min (정민) (2011-09-11). 2002년 노풍(盧風)과 2011년 안풍(安風)의 공통점?. Heraldbiz.com (in Korean). Retrieved 2011-09-24. 
  16. ^ Yeong-doo, Kang (19 July 2012). "Ahn Cheol-soo to announce his candidancy virtually". Yonhapnews. Retrieved 19 July 2012. 
  17. ^ http://news.naver.com/main/president2012/news/read.nhn?mid=hot&sid1=154&cid=909465&iid=39207146&oid=003&aid=0004843794&ptype=011
  18. ^ http://news.inews24.com/php/news_view.php?g_serial=729781&g_menu=050200&rrf=nv"I new 24"
  19. ^ "전국 12개 재보선 개표 마무리…安·金·李 당선". News1. Retrieved 24 April 2013. 
  20. ^ "Ahn launched think tank". Newdaily. Retrieved 25 May 2013. 
  21. ^ Lee (이), Gwang-bin (광빈) (2011-12-11). 안철수 기부주식 2천500억원 넘어. Yonhap News (in Korean). Retrieved 2011-12-11. 
  22. ^ Bae, Hyun-jung (September 28, 2012). "Ahn apologizes for wife's tax-dodging". Korea Herald (Seoul). 
  23. ^ Book review "Happy Virus by Ahn Cheol-soo" at The Hankyoreh. (Korean)

External links[edit]