Goldman Sachs to failed manga artist to startup queen: Akiko Naka’s unique path to success
Art Business

Goldman Sachs to failed manga artist to startup queen: Akiko Naka’s unique path to success

Akiko Naka, chief executive officer of Wantedly Inc., speaks during an interview in Tokyo, on Sept. 14. Naka took the company, a recruiting social network, on the Tokyo Stock Exchange last year, and is one of the youngest women to head a Japanese-listed company. By the age of 34, Akiko Naka has already experienced more career-wise than most people do in a lifetime. She started by getting hired by Goldman Sachs Group Inc., where she worked as an equity saleswoman. When she left that job, she tried to make it as a professional manga artist. When that didn’t work out, she landed a job at Facebook Inc. And not content to leave it at that, she quit to establish her own company, a recruiting social network called Wantedly Inc. She took it public on the Tokyo Stock Exchange last year, and is one of the youngest women to head a Japanese-listed company. Naka is an example of a young person who’s shunning what was long a standard career path in Japan — graduating from a top university and staking out a career at a major company. Instead, she’s going it alone, seeking to harness the power of social media […]

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