ADOR CEO calls conflict with Hybe ‘worst experience of my life’

April 26, 2024

Min Hee-jin, CEO of ADOR, a sublabel of K-pop giant Hybe, reiterated her denial Friday of allegations that she and her aides attempted to usurp control of the company from the parent company.

Having been locking horns with Hybe over the allegations, she made the comment during an interview with local radio station CBS, emphasizing her limited power given ADOR’s ownership structure.

“Hybe holds an 80 percent stake,” Min explained. “There is nothing we can do on our own with this stake. Any decision requires Hybe’s approval.”

Min and other executives of her company have the remaining 20 percent.

On Thursday, Hybe announced the interim results of its audit into the current management of ADOR, claiming to have secured evidence supporting its claims that the executives plotted to seize management control.

Min Hee-jin, CEO of ADOR, attends a press conference in Seoul on April 25, 2024. (Yonhap)
Min Hee-jin, CEO of ADOR, attends a press conference in Seoul on April 25, 2024. (Yonhap)

Hybe then filed a complaint against Min and her deputy CEO, identified only as Shin, on charges of breach of trust among others. It cited as evidence their conversations exchanged on a messenger service about plans to break away from the parent company and take NewJeans with them.

Min vehemently denied the audit findings in an emotional press conference convened in the afternoon.

When asked by the interviewer on CBS’ “Kim Hyun-jung’s News Show” on Friday if she had made any attempt to take management control, she answered, “Of course not.”

She added, “I’ve also never contacted anybody about this.”

Asked about Hybe auditors’ findings of a document outlining her plan to persuade overseas funds to purchase Hybe’s stakes in her company, she replied, “Running a company, handling mergers and acquisitions, and investing are completely different areas, so I’m actually quite ignorant of them.”

However, she pointed out that the intentions behind Hybe’s decision to unveil the private talks were “suspicious.”

Min Hee-jin, CEO of ADOR, attends a press conference in Seoul on April 25, 2024. (Yonhap)
Min Hee-jin, CEO of ADOR, attends a press conference in Seoul on April 25, 2024. (Yonhap)

Min, who disclosed her anger toward Hybe during Thursday’s press conference, did not hide her feelings in the interview.

“I was like, ‘Oh, this is how people maim someone in profane language if they intend to do it,’” she said. “I was terrified to actually experience the power of those who can frame people with such intent. I even thought, ‘Do they really have to do this?’”

She said the press conference, which lasted for over two hours, was “a chance that might be my first and last.”

“I’ve always chosen to face the attack and believed that being frank was the best approach,” she said.

Asked what she thinks is behind the conflict, Min replied, “They just want to destroy me.

“Only the parties involved will know the truth,” she said. “I wish they would stop this conflict in the public eye. It’s childish, so let’s just end it.”

She also expressed her frustration with the conflict’s emergence ahead of an upcoming release from NewJeans, describing it as “the worst experience of my life.”

“I don’t understand why they would choose this time to escalate the conflict, knowing full well that it would hinder my work.”

She recalled one of her company officials encouraging her to endure the situation by trying to imagine she was filming a drama.