Apr 30, 2024 2 min read

CEO of NewJeans label Ador refuses to convene board meeting as parent company HYBE tries to push her out

The boss of HYBE subsidiary Ador - the label behind girl group NewJeans - is refusing to convene a board meeting. It’s part of an ongoing corporate battle between between Ador and its parent company which began with the allegation that another HYBE group is ripping off NewJeans

CEO of NewJeans label Ador refuses to convene board meeting as parent company HYBE tries to push her out

The latest corporate bust up in the world of K-pop continues to gain momentum, with the CEO of HYBE subsidiary Ador refusing to convene a board meeting. Mainly because HYBE bosses are trying to push her out of the business, amid allegations she’s been trying to split her label off from its parent company. 

Ador is headed up by Min Hee Jin, who worked for the main HYBE company before creating the Ador subsidiary, which then launched the girl group NewJeans in 2022. HYBE owns 80% of Ador, while Min reportedly controls 18%. 

Tensions have clearly been building between Min and HYBE management for some time, in part at least over another girl group launched within the HYBE empire, ILLIT, who Min reckons are heavily ripping off NewJeans in terms of look, visuals and marketing strategy. 

All of that has now resulted in a very public war of words, while HYBE has got its accountants and lawyers on the case. Earlier this month it emerged that HYBE had instigated a surprise audit of Ador and its top executives. It’s alleged that Min and her team have been working on ways to pressure HYBE to sell its stake in Ador, a claim Min denies. 

HYBE has now called for Min’s resignation and requested a board meeting to discuss taking resolutions to that effect to a shareholder meeting. 

A spokesperson for Min said yesterday that there were no legal grounds for forcing a meeting of that kind and therefore no meeting will take place. Presumably anticipating that would be Min's response, HYBE has already filed court papers seeking to force a general meeting of shareholders. Local media report that that process will likely take four to five weeks. 

HYBE, of course, is now a big player in the global music business via the export success of its acts, its alliance with Universal Music and acquisitions in the US market, with HYBE USA headed up by veteran artist manager Scooter Braun

Though back in South Korea, it’s HYBE’s corporate dealings within the K-pop business that get particular attention, including last year’s battle with Kakao for control of SM Entertainment

As with the battle for SM, there has been lots of media coverage and social media commentary in South Korea regarding the bust up between HYBE and its Ador subsidiary. And there have been some fun revelations along the way. 

That includes the claim that Min consulted a shaman for advice on Ador corporate matters. That then led to gossip about old claims of links between HYBE and the “yoga cult” Dahn World. So who knows what forces will ultimately influence who gets to run the Ador business.

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