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HYBE allegedly conducts coercive audit on ADOR’s style team director

The current dispute between HYBE and its subsidiary label ADOR escalates with HYBE’s alleged unethical actions.

On May 10, 2024, ADOR claimed that HYBE had done a coercive audit on their style team director concerning a case of embezzlement and breach of trust that lasted until after midnight on Friday. This happened prior to ADOR’s announcement of their shareholders’ meeting.

ADOR recounted the events like this: HYBE’s audit team began the audit on ADOR’s style team director at 7 P.M., Thursday. This was after work hours and continued for about 5 hours. The audit team was also noted to have followed the director home and took the possession of the director’s personal laptop and phone.

In a statement released by ADOR regarding this event, they said, “The audit goes beyond the professional boundaries. Moreover, the audit team committed irrational behavior including severe threats such as, “You have to go to the police station if you don’t cooperate,” abusing their authority to audit and psychologically pressuring our employee.”

ADOR also added that the employee had also informed the audit team that they had scheduled activities in the early morning, but still continued with the audit, which clearly interfered with business.

HYBE responded to ADOR, which laid out reasons and clarifications about the report:

1 Regarding the claim that the audit lasted from 7 P.M. until past midnight – The employee agreed to start the audit at 7 P.M, after a call was made by the audit team informing them of their arrival.

2 Regarding the claim of coercing [the audit] after following a female employee to her home late at night after 10 P.M. – The said employee had willingly agreed to submit her personal laptop, and was accompanied (with consent) with another female employee to retrieve it.

3 Regarding the claim of demanding the collection of her personal cell phone – CEO Min Hee-jin and other ADOR employees do not use the official company messaging app and used KaKaoTalk for their business conversations. The employee did not comply with the audit team’s request to submit the data in the phone.

4 Regarding the claim that it is a common practice in the advertising industry and embezzlement cannot be established – “There is no such practice where a company’s full-time employee directly receives hundreds of millions of won in benefits from advertisers. The fact that such amounts, which should be recognized as company revenue, were privately handed over and that the CEO knowingly tolerated this for years is not a practice but a clear illegality.”

HYBE also ended their statement by attaching KakaoTalk messages between Min Hee-jin and other ADOR employees.


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