HYBE’s CEO Reassures SM Entertainment Employees And Clarifies Lee Soo Man’s Role In The Company
HYBE recently joined hands with SM Entertainment‘s founder, Lee Soo Man, in his battle against his former company. HYBE announced plans to buy up the shares that Lee Soo Man was planning to sell, effectively taking Lee Soo Man’s side in the feud. This was a huge blow to the current management of SM Entertainment and Kakao, who recently bought shares in the firm.
Due to the power of both firms, it was predicted by HYBE CEO Park Ji Won that if the two labels merged, they would be on par with some of the world’s largest music labels such as Warner Music or Sony. Despite this, fans and employees of both companies were highly concerned about the future of HYBE and SM Entertainment. In a company-addressed speech on February 13, 2022, Park Ji Won reassured his employees.
He declared that SM Entertainment’s unique color would be preserved, even if the labels were merged. Park Ji Won stated his respect for SM Entertainment’s legacy and the fandoms’ dedication and love for SM Entertainment’s unique essence. The essence of K-Pop after all, is the fandom business.
This loss of color and legacy was also a huge concern on the side of SM Entertainment employees as 85% were stated to have been worried about this through the company’s anonymous bulletin.
Park Ji Won recognized this and addressed it, claiming that “they had recently read an article that SM Entertainment employees and executives are experiencing confusion and agitation,” but they “respect SM Entertainment’s legacy and will make faster and more groundbreaking achievements through the acquisition by making good use of the legacy.”
They will hold up a system that gives independent production rights to the company instead of merging multiple labels under one wing. He also boasted that HYBE currently operates under this system, with each of the sub-labels, Pledis Entertainment, ADOR, Source Music, and BigHit Music, all maintaining their unique color.
He also drew the line regarding Lee Soo Man’s future and involvement. There will be no participation in management from Lee Soo Man in the future. Along with the acquisition of shares, they solved the governance issue involving Lee Soo Man’s production consultation company, Like Planning, and its high advisory fee contract with SM Entertainment. Lee Soo Man will no longer have royalties as well.
With that, the employee-address concluded quickly. There has been no further statement from HYBE as of the time of writing the article on February 14, 2022.