ADOR CEO's call to end NewJeans' contract rejected by HYBE

ADOR CEO’s call to terminate NewJeans’ contract with HYBE refused in February

/ 01:10 PM May 05, 2024

(From left) ADOR CEO Min Hee-jin and NewJeans. Images: Yonhap, ADOR via The Korea Herald

ADOR CEO Min Hee-jin and NewJeans. Images: Yonhap, ADOR via The Korea Herald

ADOR CEO Min Hee-jin had asked for an exclusive right to terminate NewJeans’ contract with HYBE in February, but the request was turned down by the parent company, according to an industry source on Friday, May 3.

An exclusive contract with an artist can be seen as a key asset necessary for a company’s operation. Major entertainment companies, for this reason, require exclusive contracts to be approved by the board of directors.


HYBE, in turn, has a contract with Min that requires the ADOR CEO to obtain consent from the company’s directors when terminating NewJeans’ management deal with its parent company.


The K-pop giant rejected Min’s request, seeing it as unreasonable, and did not comment further on the issue.

Currently, ADOR has a board of three directors, Min and her two close aides. She could easily get the two directors to approve the termination of NewJeans’ contract with HYBE.

NewJeans members (from left) Hyein, Haerin, Danielle, Hanni, and Minji. Image: NewJeans' official website

NewJeans members (from left) Hyein, Haerin, Danielle, Hanni and Minji. Image: NewJeans’ official website

However, the parent label can prevent this from happening as it holds an 80% stake in its sub-label and can convene an extraordinary meeting of shareholders to change the directors.

Min wanted sole power to terminate the contracts so that HYBE would not have the power to keep NewJeans under its roof. NewJeans is the only group contracted, meaning its departure would leave ADOR without any artists.

“It was a request to resolve unreasonable interference from outside during the early stage of NewJeans’ debut and also to allow operating it as an independent label,” Min said in a statement released Saturday.

HYBE believes this is in line with Min’s instant message with two board directors that read “making the company an empty shell.” the K-pop behemoth said it discovered the message during its internal audit of ADOR last month.


The parent company accused Min of attempting to poach the popular K-pop girl group and reported her to the police for an act of breach of trust.

Min denied the allegation, saying the instant message was nothing more than a small private talk with her aides and that she had no intention to execute such a plan.

Meanwhile, the K-pop giant yesterday reported a sharp fall in revenue and operating profit in the first quarter of this year. HYBE’s sales declined by 12.1% on-year to 360.9 billion won ($266.14 million), and its operating profit crashed 72.6% to 14.4 billion won (10.62 million).

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TAGS: HYBE, K-Pop, Min Hee-jin

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