Ador CEO Min Hee-jin smiles during a press conference at the Korea Press Center in central Seoul, Friday. Joint Press Corps, Yonhap

CEO Min Hee-jin of Ador, home to girl group NewJeans and a subsidiary of K-pop powerhouse HYBE, succeeded in retaining her position, but two Ador executives were dismissed during an extraordinary shareholders’ meeting Friday.

HYBE, which owns 80 percent of Ador shares, named three of its officials — Kim Joo-young, Lee Jae-sang and Lee Kyung-joon — as Ador’s new board members.

Kim is HYBE’s chief human resources officer, who previously worked as an HR expert at the personal care manufacturer Yuhan-Kimberly and the game company Krafton. Lee Jae-sang is the chief security officer known for playing a pivotal role in HYBE’s acquisition of American record label Ithaca Holdings in 2021. Lee Kyung-joon is the chief financial officer, who worked with Min at Ador in the past.

HYBE initially planned to sack Min during the shareholders’ meeting, alleging Min of breach of trust. It filed a report with police against the CEO on April 25, saying that Min, who holds an 18 percent stake in Ador, attempted to seize control of Ador from the parent company via shareholder collusion.

Min denied the allegations, saying that she was accused by HYBE after blowing the whistle internally on its alleged copying of NewJeans’ formula to launch another group — ILLIT — under its roof. On May 7, she filed for an injunction to prevent HYBE from exercising its voting rights to fire her, saying HYBE’s move is a violaion of the shareholders’ contract between the two.

The Seoul Central District Court ruled in favor of Min on Thursday, granting her injunction.

“HYBE’s reasons for Min’s dismissal were not explained sufficiently,” the court said. “What Min has done can be seen as an act of betrayal, but not a breach of trust.”

Although Min has succeeded in keeping her position, experts say Min and HYBE will now have an “uneasy cohabitation” fraught with internal conflicts, with the CEO and the new board members locking horns over various issues.

“It will be challenging for Min to speak up in her company,” music critic Han Dong-yoon told The Korea Times. “In 스포츠토토존 particular, there will be clashes in matters that require board resolution … In HYBE’s case, it may still focus on discovering the smoking gun to prove that she attempted to usurp its control of Ador.”

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