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Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Lee Sung-su to not run for CEO in SM Entertainment shareholders meeting

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Lee Sung-su, co-CEO of SM Entertainment, released a statement through his YouTube channel on Friday night. [SCREEN CAPTURE]
Lee Sung-su, co-CEO of SM Entertainment, released a statement through his YouTube channel on Friday night. [SCREEN CAPTURE]

SM Entertainment co-CEO Lee Sung-su will not be running as CEO of the company again in the upcoming shareholders meeting, he said on Friday night, urging SM founder Lee Soo-man to “beg for forgiveness” and HYBE to “stop the hostile merger.”

“HYBE is the savior for Lee Soo-man, not SM,” the co-CEO said in a video statement released on YouTube. The video was a follow-up to another statement released on Thursday, also on YouTube.

“Culture cannot be monopolized, it should not be monopolized,” he said. “Respect for diversity is always the foundation of a culture industry. We beg you to stop the hostile merger so that Korea’s K-pop does not become victim to monopoly.”

HYBE, the K-pop agency that created BTS, signed a deal earlier this month to buy 14.8 percent of SM Entertainment’s shares owned by Lee Soo-man and will buy up to 25 percent more in a tender offer to individual shareholders at 120,000 won ($90) per share, ultimately aiming for a 40-percent majority stake in the K-pop agency.

In the previous video, CEO Lee argued that Lee Soo-man has been ruining the K-pop agency with his personal greed, forcing girl group aespa to sing about sustainability in their songs while he evades taxes through a private company he founded overseas.

BY YOON SO-YEON [yoon.soyeon@joongang.co.kr]