Industry Insiders Speculate On Yang Hyun Suk’s Possible Influence Even After Officially Leaving YG Entertainment

On June 14, Yang Hyun Suk announced his decision to step down from his position at YG Entertainment. YG’s CEO and Yang Hyun Suk’s brother, Yang Min Suk, also announced that he is resigning.

Yang Hyun Suk is not the CEO of YG Entertainment, but is the founder of the agency and his official position was “representative producer.” He played a major role in the casting and training of trainees as well as the music and video production processes of YG’s artists.

Although YG Entertainment has hired many experts to specialize in certain fields, like any major entertainment agency, Yang Hyun Suk continued to exercise final confirmation privileges over the company’s internal decisions as well as content production.

This is why any controversy that affects YG Entertainment or any of its artists inevitably comes to reflect on Yang Hyun Suk. Even with his resignation, he may continue to exercise influence over the content production of YG artists.

(However, although YG Entertainment also houses many top actors, Yang Hyun Suk did not participate much in the actor management part of his agency.)

An industry insider reported, “It’s possible that he might still have influence over YG’s current artists. With the resignation of his brother, the CEO, they are trying to focus on modifying their internal organization, but the aftermath is likely to be messy for a long time.”

Other industry insiders expressed skepticism over whether Yang Hyun Suk would be able to completely separate himself from YG’s business, especially because Yang Hyun Suk remains a major shareholder in the company.

According to YG’s quarterly report in May, Yang Hyun Suk owns 16.12 percent of common stocks (also known as ordinary shares) in the company, but his name is not listed in the official list of board members.

An industry insider, who is the CEO of another entertainment agency, stated, “Just like how Cho Hyun Min [former executive director and heiress of Korean Air] recently returned to business after being accused of throwing a glass at an employee, big companies just follow the typical ‘manual’ response in these situations. For a job like ‘representative producer,’ it doesn’t matter what the official position name is. You can have lots of influence over content production. It’s even easier in this case because Yang Hyun Suk is still a major shareholder.”

One director of a music promotion company stated, “If you look at the comments on some job websites, the reputation of YG is something like, ‘Why do they need hundreds of employees when one person does everything anyway?’ The current executives are all on Yang Hyun Suk’s side, so he can continue to have influence both directly and indirectly.”

Yang Hyun Suk’s brother also owns 3.31 percent of ordinary shares in the company.

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