HYBE Officially Responds to All of Min Hee-jin’s Allegations (Full Statement)

HYBE Labels has issued an official statement addressing all the allegations made by Min Hee-jin in her press conference. 

On April 26, HYBE Labels official responded to the allegations made by Min Hee-jin in her press conference on April 25. 

Below is a summary of HYBE’s response: 

Regarding Min Hee-jin’s claiming that she never plans on separating from HYBE

The discussion files on the same topic for months are still recorded in the chat logs and work logs. With the intervention of a third party, this is no longer a private conversation but a concrete plan.

min hee jin

Additionally, CEO Min exchanged with the vice president – a certified accountant with expertise in business administration, who is also the key executive director at ADOR. This cannot be considered a joke.

Regarding the allegation that “The financial compensation amount is meager”:

CEO Min affirmed that her annual salary is 2 billion won. This is precisely the bonus for 2023, with annual salary and long-term benefits separately regulated. This is the highest annual salary so far for members at HYBE’s headquarters and its subsidiaries in South Korea.

In addition to the salary, HYBE also provides significant compensation in the form of stocks – a large value that ordinary people can hardly imagine. However, CEO Min once again requested an amount that the company cannot accept.

Regarding the allegation that “HYBE immediately conducted an audit but did not respond to Min Hee-jin’s internal email”:

HYBE sent a detailed response over 6 pages A4 at 10:01 AM on April 22nd. CEO Min was also confirmed to have read it by 12:00 the same day.

hybe thumbnail

The audit was conducted after HYBE received numerous pieces of information over several months and after confirming that confidential business documents had been leaked. It is unreasonable to request prior notice of audit schedules for serious misconduct cases.

Regarding the allegation that “HYBE did not provide guidance on returning ADOR’s information assets”:

HYBE went to CEO Min’s studio and house at 10:00 on April 22nd to retrieve information content as part of the inspection process. During this process, HYBE contacted multiple times via phone, email, and messages, but CEO Min did not respond.

At 6:00 pm on April 23rd, when the deadline for return expired, HYBE requested again through ADOR’s vice president but received the response “CEO Min is busy and cannot do it.”

CEO Min claimed, “The computer was seized to prevent work before (NewJeans’) comeback,” which is also untrue. HYBE provided a new laptop and transferred existing data to ensure ADOR’s work was not interrupted.

Regarding the issue “HYBE promised to debut Min Hee-jin’s group as the first female group of the company”:

This is the email sent to CEO Min on 4/22:


“CEO Min is also making inaccurate statements about the separation process from Source Music based on her misinterpretation. The reason NewJeans couldn’t become the first girl group of HYBE is not because HYBE didn’t keep its promise. At that time, CEO Min requested that she take full responsibility for establishing the group and insisted that the group debut under her label.

HYBE respected her opinion and transferred these members to ADOR despite Source Music’s objections, even providing a significant investment amount of up to 16 billion won, allowing CEO Min to debut NewJeans as she wanted. During this process, NewJeans’ debut schedule was delayed due to the company’s split and contract transfer.

CEO Min even disclosed this process herself. In an interview with a media agency published on 3/24/2022, CEO Min stated that the girl group project was carried out according to her plan. She announced that the debut date would be in the 3rd quarter of 2022, even saying, ‘Rushing the debut will surely put a lot of pressure on the young members. I don’t want to rush everyone, so I decided to debut in the 3rd quarter of 2022, which is a reasonable time.’

Regarding the allegation that “HYBE requested not to promote NewJeans during their debut period”:

LE SSERAFIM and NewJeans debuted consecutively, so there was not enough time for full promotion. Therefore, HYBE decided to set a minimum promotion period within a certain timeframe. Additionally, in the case of Sakura (LE SSERAFIM), there were many articles about ‘Rumors of her transferring to HYBE’ even before signing the contract with HYBE. In this situation, if calling ADOR’s group “only consisting of new faces,” we are concerned that Sakura joining Source Music and information about NewJeans members will also be exposed.

The request was made to protect the news value of both teams. Even this period was shortened in between to start promoting NewJeans.

We sent CEO MIN a response via email:

le sserafim

“Furthermore, CEO Min’s interview was published 2 months before LE SSERAFIM’s debut (5/22/2022), showing that CEO Min had enough time to promote the new girl group. CEO Min’s statement is very different from the thoughts of the employees – those who clearly understand the full support and concessions that Source Music and HYBE have given for ADOR’s success.”

Regarding the allegation “HYBE neglected to promote NewJeans”:

HYBE revealed their email: “HYBE is doing its utmost to promote NewJeans. Last year, we wrote and distributed 273 press releases exclusively for NewJeans. Meanwhile, BigHit Music had 659 press releases for 8 artists, including BTS, and Pledis had 365 press releases for 4 artists, including SEVENTEEN. Therefore, it’s difficult to assert that we are ‘neglecting PR for NewJeans;. Our PR department always tries its best to promote all labels and artists without discrimination.”

Regarding the accusation of “Slave contract”:

Although there is an obligation to maintain confidentiality about non-compete terms in the shareholder agreement, CEO Min mentioned this in the press conference. “Non-compete” is a clause requested by the buyer to prevent unhealthy competition by selling shares held by shareholders and starting a business in the same industry. This is a common provision in any industry.

Saying that the company binds Min Hee-jin forever is incorrect. CEO Min can sell shares starting from November this year, and if she sells shares, she will not be bound by non-compete  terms from November 2026, when the labor contract with the company expires.

CEO Min herself also stated: “I can earn 100 billion won if I stay,” and she can withdraw the money and start a business next year, so it can never be called slavery. These are special compensation terms that ordinary people cannot imagine. Even in CEO Min’s KakaoTalk messages with colleagues, there is a statement that she will exercise the option to sell and leave the company on January 2, 2025. 

In the case of the provision related to buying and selling in the contract that CEO Min claims to be a slavery contract, there is a difference in interpretation regarding whether these two provisions have priority. Last December, the company responded that “If the interpretation is vague, we can completely address and amend unclear terms.”

Regarding the request to “Manage ESG (environmental, social, and governance) in physical album releases”:

min hee jin

We are practicing ESG management activities to the extent possible. CEO Min criticized the environmentally friendly album that the company has diligently promoted. To switch digital albums from plastic to paper, album covers, and photocards to environmentally friendly biodegradable materials, HYBE had to invest significant human and financial resources. The ESG management board is ready to accept and invest in this. We are striving to expand the application of environmentally friendly albums to all labels under HYBE, but internal members are aware that the least cooperative label is ADOR.

Regarding the accusation that “HYBE does not make negotiating efforts”:

HYBE continues to discuss changes in the contract between CEO Min and shareholders. But the discussions were temporarily suspended when CEO Min’s allegations reached HYBE. However, HYBE responded honestly to CEO Min’s allegations. However, while contract negotiations between shareholders were ongoing, CEO Min secretly recruited lawyers and accountants within HYBE to receive advice on changing the contract between shareholders, and also contacted law firms and institutional investors to discuss taking over management rights.

Regarding the statement that “The shaman is just a friend”:

Outsiders intervening in management details cannot be considered merely as friends. In the conversation between CEO Min and the lawyer, many details about stock options, investor names… were discussed, and decisions were made based on the lawyer’s proposals on various management issues. This conversation partner cannot be considered merely an acquaintance. Important company information has been indiscriminately disclosed to outsiders who are not company officials.

Regarding the  accusation of HYBE not caring about NewJeans for blowing things up before the comeback


It was CEO Min who initiated the attack on HYBE via email during the NewJeans comeback period. In the investigation data, there is a record of CEO Min’s instruction to prepare for a public relations battle starting from April, and there is also a file harassing HYBE by causing controversies.

In fact, CEO Min herself is threatening HYBE by holding the artist hostage. If the compensation plan is accepted, it’s good, but if it’s not accepted, CEO Min is using it as an excuse to terminate the relationship.

Source: Naver, VKR

Back to top button