Ador’s Min Hee-jin Offers Hybe an Olive Branch Following Momentous Court Verdict

Min Hee-Jin Ador Hybe olive branch after court decision
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Min Hee-Jin Ador Hybe olive branch after court decision
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Photo Credit: Ador CEO Min Hee-jin / Korean News1

Ador CEO Min Hee-jin holds a press conference suggesting reconciliation with Hybe following the recent court verdict.

Min Hee-jin attended a second press conference following the court’s decision that Hybe be barred from dismissing her as CEO of the company’s label Ador. The second press conference took place following Hybe’s shareholder meeting earlier in the day, addressing press questions relating to the feud between the two companies. The first press conference took place on April 25 to address the audit filed against Min and other Ador executives by Hybe citing breach of trust.

To start off the press conference, the Ador producer expressed gratitude toward those who supported her, leading up to the court’s decision. She appreciated the heartfelt messages sent by fans of K-pop girl group NewJeans, whose upward trajectory Min has been instrumental in establishing.

“I was able to recover because of them. And when everything is settled, I want to show my appreciation to them,” said Min in a teary-eyed statement. “Now that my name has been cleared, I have more room to make decisions, but what I wish for is to fulfill what I envisioned fulfilling with the team NewJeans, to make true the vision that I drew [with them]. If you tell me to give up money in exchange for that vision, I will. The vision that we drew up is more important to me.”

“We are preparing for a concert at the Tokyo Dome in June, and a world tour for next year,” Min continued. “To put together the setlist, we also had plans to release music at the end of the year.”

Min also suggested a “reconciliation with Hybe,” as she continued taking questions from the press. “If I were thinking only of my own future, I would choose otherwise. But if I continue to work toward the plans I envisioned with the NewJeans members, I do not believe that it will bring losses to anyone. I want to suggest a rational approach.”

Hybe has been extending its reach with a series of acquisitions to diversify its portfolio beyond K-pop supergroup BTS during its members’ hiatus as they serve their mandatory time in the South Korean military. Ador’s NewJeans has been well received, thanks in no small part to Min’s efforts.

“A company is not one’s own company that is owned by one person. It is comprised of various shareholders, and we need to become an organization that works with one unified corporate vision in mind. I’ve dedicated myself so much to Ador, and that helped Hybe. That’s why the court obviously thought it wasn’t a breach of trust against Ador,” said Min, referring to the Seoul Central District Court’s ruling. “So, which direction should we go? We need to healthily and constructively discuss this.”

“That’s what should be the management mind, and that’s what should be humanely done,” Min said in earnest. “And I also know that there are many questions about the court verdict, but that will be explained by the lawyers.”

Meanwhile, two board members were let go from their positions at Hybe during the shareholders’ meeting, with three new inside directors from Hybe introduced. Min’s lawyer, Timothy SK Lee, says, “What we’re worried about is that the board was formed in a way such that there is a possibility that Min could be fired. But legally, the injunction was passed so that Hybe cannot exercise its rights. It’s a precarious position, so because the injunction was approved, can she maintain her position as CEO?”

“Since a cluster of Hybe’s executives were hired as inside directors, there is a way that the board could be summoned to fire Min, but the new directors haven’t passed that motion yet,” Lee continues. “There are other shareholders involved in the shareholders’ contract. If Ador summons another meeting, does that mean that we have to file another injunction?”