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From K-pop stars to CEO - BLACKPINK's Lisa, Jennie to EXO's Baekhyun; artists who started own agencies recently

Let's delve into the journeys of some notable K-pop artists who have not only excelled as performers but also ventured into the role of CEO.

From K-pop stars to CEO - BLACKPINK's Lisa, Jennie to EXO's Baekhyun; artists who started own agencies recently
BLACKPINK's Lisa, Jennie

Last Updated: 05.29 PM, Feb 12, 2024


When discussing one's favourite K-pop artist and the agencies associated with it, the focus has always traditionally centred on the 'Big 3' (namely SM, JYP, and YG). However, with BTS' rise and the emergence of HYBE Labels, the landscape has shifted. Despite this, numerous artists have taken the reins by establishing their own entertainment companies, seeking to regain control and assert autonomy over their career trajectories.

As their fame extends globally, propelled by the Hallyu wave, these artists have increasingly carved out their paths. Let's delve into the journeys of some notable K-pop artists who have not only excelled as performers but also ventured into the role of CEO.


The Thai rapper launched her solo label, 'LLOUD' and became the 2nd member of the K-pop group BLACKPINK to become a CEO. She announced the label's establishment via an Instagram post on February 8. This agency, as described by Lisa, will serve as a platform to showcase her vision in music and entertainment.

Lisa on social media said, "Introducing LLOUD, a platform to showcase my vision in music and entertainment. Join me on this exciting journey to push through new boundaries together (sic)."

BLACKPINK's Jennie – Odd Atelier

The other rapper of BLACKPINK also established her agency called 'Odd Atelier' (OA). Founded in November 2023, the idol officially announced the establishment of OA following news of her discontinuing her exclusive contract with YG Entertainment for her solo activities. 

She said, "OA, which stands for ODD ATELIER, is a space that aims to create new things that attract attention in a different way from what is usual or expected. It is a label founded by artist JENNIE in November 2023".

EXO's D.O – Company Soosoo

After 13 years with SM Entertainment, D.O., also known as Do Kyung-soo from EXO, announced his departure and unveiled the establishment of his solo agency alongside his longtime managing director, named 'Company Soosoo'. Under this arrangement, the singer and actor's solo endeavours will be managed by his company, while SM Entertainment will continue to oversee his promotions with EXO.

EXO's Baekhyun – INB100

Following in the footsteps of D.O., EXO vocalist Baekhyun also departed from SM Entertainment in 2023 to establish 'INB100'. This agency will manage his endeavours as well as those of EXO-CBX - the sub-unit comprised of three members: Xiumin, Baekhyun, and Chen. Additionally, 'INB100' will also oversee the individual promotions of the other two members, Xiumin and Chen.

Pentagon's Kino – NAKED

In October, Kino parted ways with CUBE Entertainment and on December 15, he launched the social media accounts of his label 'NAKED'. With this establishment, the Idol is gearing up for full-fledged solo activities. 

According to the star, 'NAKED' encapsulates the meaning of approaching the public with an unadorned, authentic self. The caption with the posts read, "No one will ever be as entertained by us as us."

Former ASTRO's Rocky – One Fine Day Entertainment

After making his debut with ASTRO in 2016, Rocky, who was managed by Fantagio, departed from the group in 2023 amid contract renewal discussions. He then took the reins of his career by establishing 'One Fine Day Entertainment', serving as the CEO of his self-established agency, to pursue his solo activities. He already released the mini album "ROCKYST" under his new agency.

Super Junior's Donghae & Eunhyuk – ODE Entertainment

one of SM Entertainment's oldest boy groups - Super Junior - saw its two members Donghae and Eunhyuk co-found 'ODE Entertainment' to pursue their solo endeavours. While the duo will continue to collaborate with their original management company for group activities, 'ODE' will take care of their unit and individual projects. 

Notably, they hosted their 'DElight Party World Tour Fancon' last year, which showcased their commitment to engaging with fans on a global scale.

Former TVXQ's Jaejoong – iNKODE

Part of the legendary second-generation SM Entertainment group TVXQ, Jaejoong in May of 2023 unveiled 'iNKODE', his very own agency alongside a former vice president from CUBE Entertainment. 

Since its inception, Jaejoong has been notably more active, launching and hosting a YouTube talk show titled 'JaeFriends'.

INFINITE's Kim Sung-gyu – INFINITE Company

Originally under Woollim Entertainment, INFINITE emerged as one of the most recognizable groups from the second-generation K-pop scene. However, in 2023, the group's leader, Kim Sung-Gyu, established 'INFINITE Company', an agency exclusively focused on promoting the group's activities post-departure from Woollim. The 6-member group marked a triumphant return in July 2023 with their seventh EP, "13egin."

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