It was previously announced that SM Entertainment was considering an early termination of their contract with former CEO and founder, Lee Soo Man, and his company, Like Planning. Like Planning is currently the company overseeing music production and consulting. As it is a separate company from SM Entertainment, SM Entertainment had been outsourcing these elements to Lee Soo Man after Lee Soo Man turned SM Entertainment public. It seems that the decision is a mutual one, with SM Entertainment voicing out that Lee Soo Man had called for the early termination.
We have been reviewing and discussing the production contract with executive producer Lee Soo-man from various angles. The executive producer has informed us that he wants to end the production contract early at the end of this year.
We plan to discuss with key stakeholders the impact of the early termination of the production contract with the general producer on our business and plan to make an announcement about the future direction.
— SM Entertainment
As NCT 127‘s comeback with 2 Baddies comes at a coincidental timing with this announcement, reporters couldn’t help but ask the members on what they felt about it. At NCT 127’s press conference for 2 Baddies, held on September 16, 2022, a reporter questioned the members on how they felt about Lee Soo Man’s impending departure from the company.
Leader Taeyong, who is known to be exceptionally favored by the former head-honcho, “could not imagine an SM Entertainment without Lee Soo Man.” As he has been close with the founder from the start of his journey as a trainee, he felt a special affection and respect for his mentor.
I have been with Lee Soo Man since I was a trainee. I can’t imagine an SM without Lee Soo Man. I hope that 2 Baddies will not be the last work he produces.
Things are still under discussion with the esteemed producer. Take a listen to NCT 127’s “2 Baddies” in the meantime.