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HYBE audits NewJeans ADOR label and asks CEO Min Hee-Jin to resign

HYBE audits NewJeans ADOR label and asks CEO Min Hee-Jin to resign

 


As HYBE has successfully become an entertainment powerhouse built around its multi-label structure, the Korean company says it has investigated one of its flagship agencies, ADOR, home of chart-topping girl group NewJeans.

Since its launch in late 2021, ADOR (an acronym for All Doors One Room) has been led by Min Hee Jin, a veteran creator in the K-pop industry who helped develop the scene's penchant for concept art and created era-defining K-pop groups like Girls' Generation, SHINee, f( x), EXO and Red Velvet during his tenure with SM. Entertainment. After Min's departure from SM, she joined Big Hit Entertainment in 2019 as brand director and led the company's rebranding to HYBE. Upon revealing the 2021 rebrand, HYBE announced Min as CEO of a new label, ADOR, with plans to launch the girl group that would become NewJeans.

Earlier this month, a report from the Korean Financial Supervisory Service revealed that Min had controlled an 18% stake in ADOR since late last year. HYBE previously held full control of the brand, but now owns 80%, with an additional 2% held by other company executives. HYBE reportedly invested 16.1 billion won (about $11.7 million) to create ADOR.

Less than two years after NewJeans' historic debut, HYBE asked Min to step down from ADOR after an audit of her, the label and its executives.

HYBE confirmed to Billboard that on April 22, the company “invoked the right to audit CEO Min Hee-Jin and senior management of its subsidiary ADOR.” HYBE said it “summoned them to convene a shareholders' meeting and sent an official letter to ask CEO Min to resign.” HYBE added that it could not provide more information about the reason(s) for the audit or why it was asking Min to step down.

Since news of the audit became public, ADOR and Min Hee-jin have gone on the offensive in Korean media.

In a series of statements, ADOR complaints HYBE's latest group, the five-member girl group ILLIT under another subsidiary, BELIFT LAB, copies NewJeans. With the founder and current president of HYBE Bang Si-hyuk involved in ILLIT's first album Super real me (No. 6 on the World Albums Chart after three weeks), ADOR claims that BELIFT LAB and HYBE are complicit in the alleged violation. ADOR says she raised the copying issue internally a month ago but received no response, now claiming that HYBE's attempt to remove her as CEO was the result of bringing up the alleged issue. Min gave an additional interview to the Korean point of sale Sports hook to hit back at rumors that it was trying to separate ADOR from HYBE or seek outside investors to become independent with its 18% stake.

Min Hee-jin did not respond to Billboardrequest for comment.

Min and ADOR quickly turned NewJeans into a series of record-breaking achievements, including a No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 with 2023's. Get up just a year after their debut, five Hot 100 hits under their belt, a well-received U.S. live debut at Lollapalooza last year, as well as honors like Best Global K-Pop Artist at the Billboard Music Awards 2023 and the first K-pop group honored as group of the year for BillboardWomen in music. In 2023, Min gained a place on Billboardof the International Power Players and Women in Music executive lists and also collaborated with V of BTS on the overall production of his debut solo album, Stopwhich peaked at number two on the Billboard 200 in September.

The K-pop power clash comes as NewJeans gears up for several releases, including new singles “Bubble Gum” and “How Sweet,” with the former's music video set for April 26 on the HYBE LABELS YouTube channel. NewJeans is also preparing its very first Japanese singles “Supernatural” and “Right Now”, as well as a new album planned for the second half of 2024.

Elsewhere in the HYBE universe, ILLIT's “Magnetic” is currently at No. 91 on the Hot 100, making it the first single from a K-pop group to enter the chart. New music from HYBE artists like Zico (under HYBE LABELS' KOZ Entertainment) and SEVENTEEN (PLEDIS Entertainment) is also arriving this month. Historically, internal company issues can affect K-pop music or content releases, but no updates were shared at the time of publication.

Sources

1/ https://Google.com/

2/ https://www.billboard.com/business/record-labels/hybe-audit-newjeans-label-ador-asks-ceo-min-heejin-step-down-1235663575/

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