Saturday, May 25, 2024

Tak Young-jun appointed co-CEO of SM Entertainment

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Marking a shift in its leadership structure, SM Entertainment announced the appointment of Tak Young-jun as co-CEO alongside current CEO Jang Cheol-hyuk.

This decision, ratified during the company’s 29th regular shareholders’ meeting and board meeting on Wednesday (March 27), establishes a dual leadership model for the K-pop powerhouse.

Previously serving as SM’s Chief Operating Officer, Tak brings a wealth of experience to his new role. He has played a role in overseeing the launch of last year’s breakout rookie group, Riize, and leading artist production and management for established acts, cultivating new talent, and supervising performances and intellectual property (IP) ventures.

The company highlighted Tak’s “outstanding capabilities” as a key factor in his promotion. His track record includes establishing a production system and strengthening SM 3.0’s multi-purpose business strategy.

“By strengthening SM’s business competitiveness, we will leap forward as a global entertainment company and further contribute to the growth of the K-POP industry.” Tak said. “We will continue to present competitive NEW IP, including NCT WISH and the female rookie team that will debut in the second half of the year.”

“By strengthening SM’s business competitiveness, we will leap forward as a global entertainment company and further contribute to the growth of the K-POP industry.”

Tak Young-jun, SM Entertainment

The shareholders’ meeting also addressed other key matters. The 29th financial statements were approved, paving the way for a dividend distribution of KRW 1,200 ($0.89) per common share, consistent with the previous year. This translates to a total dividend payout of KRW 28.1 billion ($20.8 million). SM’s financial performance remains strong, with consolidated sales of KRW 961.1 billion and KRW 113.5 billion in operating profit in 2023.

In the fourth quarter alone, SM’s revenue slipped 3.4% YoY to KRW 250 billion ($185 million) from KRW 258.8 billion, while operating profit tumbled 51.7% YoY to KRW 10.9 billion won from KRW 22.7 billion.

Expressing the team’s commitment to SM’s future, co-CEO Jang Cheol-hyuk said, “All executives and employees are working together to realize the vision of SM3.0 announced in 2023.” He added, “We are not only working to improve shareholder value, but we are also continuously producing good content with artists. By introducing this, we will become an entertainment company recognized by various stakeholders.”

“We are not only working to improve shareholder value, but we are also continuously producing good content with artists. By introducing this, we will become an entertainment company recognized by various stakeholders.”

Jang Cheol-hyuk, SM Entertainment

Tak’s appointment came nearly a year after Jang was promoted to CEO after serving as the company’s chief financial officer. Jang’s promotin arrived just days after Kakao Corp. became SM’s largest shareholder following a months-long saga that concluded when Kakao won in its bid to acquire a substantial stake in SM that prevented rival HYBE, the agency behind BTS, to take control of SM Entertainment.

However, earlier in March, SM rival HYBE increased its stake in the company after buying 869,948 shares for KRW 104.3 billion ($77 million) from SM’s founder and former Chief Producer Lee Soo Man.

In 2023, SM Entertainment launched an integrated North America division with Kakao, a music publishing subsidiary called Kreation Music Rights, and partnered with UK-based Moon&Back to launch global search for new boy band.

Kreation Music, which launched in September, has since signed top songwriting talent and acquiring established music publishers as SM aims to turn it into “Asia’s leading music publisher within the next five years.”

Music Business Worldwide

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