Last week, HYBE Entertainment announced that Bang Si-Hyuk was stepping down from his CEO role to focus on music production. Bang had spearheaded the rise of BTS into global superstars, and will continue as chairman of the Board of Directors.
The move follows various company shakeups that have taken place in recent months. Once known as Big Hit Entertainment the conglomerate rebranded into HYBE Entertainment, with Big Hit music operations shifting into Big Hit Music under HYBE’s Labels division. They also moved into new headquarters at Seoul’s Yongsan District.
The new building befits their status as a new and permanent entrant into K-Pop’s once strict music company triopoly: SM Entertainment, JYP Entertainment, and YG Entertainment. HYBE Entertainment is now part of that list.
Last year, Big Hit became the majority stakeholders of Pledis Entertainment (currently famously known as home to the idol group Seventeen). This year HYBE continued their process of buying up and investing in corporations, stepping up abroad with a 100 percent stake acquisition of Ithaca Holdings. This parent company includes SB Projects, an agency that manages Justin Bieber, and Ariana Grande, through HYBE America.
For now, the effects of this new announcement are unknown. Social media reactions verged from cautiously hopeful, to curiosity on how exactly how this affects the groups under the rest of HYBE’s music holdings (including rapper Zico, and junior groups TXT and ENHYPEN).
BTS fan Fons Martinez is excited to see the results. “Bang Si-hyuk was an artist and producer first, so him focusing on music production again makes me so happy,” he says. “The creative mastermind can now help BTS and other HYBE artists with their music more. I’m excited to see more of his work!”
As with any news regarding one of the most highly regarded companies in Korea, naysayers with negative reactions also came out of the woodwork.
No matter what happens, for BTS, the future as always remains bright: this year, the group was nominated at the 2021 Grammys for Best Pop Duo/Performance, had their first major fashion endorsement with Louis Vuitton, and the exciting BTS and McDonald’s collaboration saw long lines the world over.
They also recently released their latest single “Butter.” The last six months of the year will likely see more to come from the K-Pop supergroup.