I have to laugh. Sometimes, I wonder about KPop and the insane adulation that people place on the idols. There was a poll on the internet that asked who would make future KPop CEOs. The discussion listed G-Dragon, BOA, some other people and Kim Jaejoong of JYJ. Some people said Seungri of Big Bang would be a good one. Here are my thoughts.
Even before he started AOMG, I already had Jay Park pegged as a contender for an Entertainment company CEO. Jay is the classic go-getter. He’s not afraid of setbacks and while he’s certainly talented, he also knows how to pick talent. But he’s a risk taker. I didn’t expect him to create his entertainment business so soon. Even if AOMG collapses, I’m sure that Jay Park will become one of South Korea’s entertainment moguls. I hope he’ll be in a position to swallow JYP in a decade or so. I’d love to see that day! To me, he’s the only one I can say for sure can capture Park Jin Young’s love for dance and music that’s a signature for JYP artists.
I agree with the people that picked JYJ as future CEOs. Lee Soo Man will die eventually since all humans aren’t immortals. Hah! And I have every fantasy that SM investors will come crawling to JYJ’s door and begging them to take over.
SM entertainment is a publicly traded company. Their CEOs and leaders are at the mercy of their stockholders. If the CEO can’t perform in garnering more profit for a company, the stockholders start shoveling shares. The value of the company plummets. It’s not enough to know how the entertainment industry works. One also needs to know how the world works and how money in business works.
People have gotten the wrong image of tragically beautiful, blonde bombshell Kim Jaejoong. They have done the same to beautifully greasy (why is he greasy? I don’t know..) Park Yuchun and baby faced, always smiling Kim Junsu. Oh, believe me, the fan fics and stories have all given me the idea that if DBSK were together, they’d choose Yunho as the CEO. Hah! Yunho and Changmin are afraid of risk. They’re more followers than innovators and a CEO needs to be the one to make tough decisions. JYJ breaking away from SM despite the uncertainty in their future are just like phoenixes dying before they can rise again. These three men are tempered in fire and their mettle are hard. Here are samurai swords. Wield them at your peril.
Of the three, I think the strongest is Kim Jaejoong in terms of business skills and management. He’s ventured into different genres be it in his singing or in his acting. He’s not afraid to push his limits. Beautiful, you might call this man, but he’s got a deadly side as well. Something must have happened with his coffee place business and decided to pull out his name and investment. He’s not afraid to cut losses and start something else. He’s not afraid of taking risks. He’s not afraid to fail and get back up. He’s a social networker. His circle of friends is varied and far flung. I would probably count a few government movers and shakers among them. Hell, I’d encourage him to take up political science and get into the political game. He’s the kind of man that could probably swim in those murky waters and clean it up as he goes. This is the kind of person you will need to head a big corporation like SM. He understands the worth of social networking. And he understands face. He projects a certain mask so that his true nature is unknown. I know this kind of person. He’s deadly as a scorpion, with the face of an angel.
One of these days, SM will court Kim Jaejoong to head its group. He knows the entertainment industry, but more than that. He knows the kind of risks needed to keep a business growing. The three have proven resilient even in the opposition of one huge bear clawing behind their backs called SM entertainment media. If not, I have no doubt that Kim Jaejoong and his two band brothers will take over a much crippled SM in a decade or so.
The second would be Kim Junsu. The man says little. He concentrates on his own agenda. He’s always there for the other two, but behind the scenes, he’s bought land and is building a hotel. He’s bought a huge home (by Korean standards). This takes decisive action. If KJJ is the President, Junsu would be the VP. But if his music is anything to go by, he’s definitely a person that thinks differently. He’s not afraid of risks. Instead of going into traditional acting, he actually set out to do theater-more specifically, musicals. His Tantallegra gave me a glimpse into a different Junsu. I knew then that this man isn’t some fey faced cutie. There are ‘balls’ in the movements he makes for his career. It wouldn’t even faze me to say that if Kim Jaejoong doesn’t become CEO, I have no doubt that Kim Junsu would and be brilliant at it.
I know I put Yuchun last. And I’ll tell you why. He’s not really into the wheeling and dealing. You see Kim Jaejoong fostering connections all over, Yuchun is happy with producing songs and being an actor. Not that I mind because I can go “Chunnie!!!” each time I see him on screen, right? But that’s my feel. On his own, he probably won’t head a company. He needs Junsu, Yuhwan, and Jaejoongie to pull him with them. He would no doubt be happy being second in command – a Vice Chairman, a Vice President, but not THE President. I have no doubt, though, that if his President is absent for medical emergencies or such that he can hold the company together and lead exemplarily. We will see the steel that Yuchun hides behind mischievous eyes.
I’ve already dissed Yunho and Changmin. They’re not risk takers. They prefer to stay with the known instead of venturing out into the unknown. (Unless there is a certain agreement between the three that left and the two that stayed. If that is the case, you’ve got your future cabinet members in place already.) But judging on present data (conspiracy theories not withstanding), the current TVXQ duo would prefer the tried and true methods which garners the same flat-lined results of profits. One needs to take risks in order to achieve growth. This is business 101. Even if Jung Yunho is SM’s golden boy – the boy that laid golden eggs-, he’s more of a follower than a high stakes leader. He’d rather have SM making all the decisions and all he has to do is keep the maknae in check and follow the schedule. (I apologize if I’m hurting your feelings.) Changmin… eeks. Book smart, but until I see some kind of venturing out of SM’s tried and true cookie cutter traditions, I can’t say much about this person. He may know everything there is in the world but without the drive to apply his knowledge, he’s going to be just another professor teaching about his theories until someone like Steve Jobs (in this case Kim Jaejoong) takes that, applies it in the real world and makes a name for himself. For these two, the military might do them some good. I can only wait to see what the world has in store for these two AFTER military service. Their personal movements after that milestone will help me put them in a better perspective. Until then. Oh, well. They’re not even on the radar.
G-Dragon – hmmm… he’s a small scale entrepreneur. Not CEO material. He’s dynamic, yes, but not CEO material. He’s a mover and shaker, yes, but not CEO material and I’ll tell you why. Despite the fact that he’s a fashion icon, he’s also content where he’s at, writing music, producing music, innovating art. More or less, G-Dragon is a true creative artist. He wants to perfect his craft. And his choice is music and fashion. He doesn’t see anything else but the art. So music video innovations and cutting edge visuals, look towards G-Dragon. Trendsetting stuff, look towards G-Dragon. Experimental music, new sounds, new music trends, look to G-Dragon. But not if you’re asking him to be a businessman first. He’s like Yuchun of JYJ. He’ll need someone else to pull him along. And he’ll have to have a stronger personality than GD so it won’t be Taeyang or TOP.
BOA… I don’t know her. I’m not interested in the female side of KPop. I’m not liking the whiny tint of their voices. From what little I’ve seen though, she’s like the TVXQ duo. She prefers the tried and true. I do not see any artists in SM as CEO material. Except the ones that got away.
Seungri. Aish. He’ll stay a business owner. A CEO is much harder for it requires innovative thinking. It’s a larger scale. It’s like going from the pool in the backyard to the ocean in a little blow up raft. While I think Seungri might be able to pull off the greaseball executive, the image given would have the public cringing. I think he’s okay to risk, but not the kind of risk that innovators have. So until I see something very risky coming from him, he’s most likely to toe the line and that’s that. A CEO needs to step over that line or slide through it. Seungri doesn’t have that kind of side to him, I don’t think.
The one that didn’t even make it on any list is Block-B’s Zico. Leader, yes, of one of KPop’s most notorious bad boys. He’s got a different approach to producing an album. He’s talented and yet progressive. Give him time, he’ll develop into a real CEO. He’s still young, but a few years and I’ll check back on you as to how that future CEO is working out. I think without his leadership, Block B would be a lost cause. That he’s in there hanging tough… I look forward to seeing this boy’s CEO material further develop. He’s the one I peg will take over YG in terms of innovative “street style” music. Now, I can definitely say the he will be no conventional CEO, but at that time, KPOP will want unconventional. Zico’s brand of difference will be necessary at that time.
The next one is Jung Joon Young, singer extraordinaire, a glimpse of his CEO potential is archived in 2Days 1Night. He’s definitely into making money. A runaway at 17, he’s dogged about making it in the Korean entertainment industry. He definitely understands risk and is willing to play that kind of game. He’s not above masterminding ‘takeovers’. And he’s ultra-observant. He pays attention to the minutiae of detail that would fail others, but he’s on top of it and uses it to his and his co-stars advantage. It is this attention to detail that will help him become an innovator in the world of KPop business. He’ll know how to pinpoint rising trends and pounce on them for profit.
The other one on this list would possibly be Jung Yong Hwa of CNBLUE. He’s THE leader of the band and his bandmates look to him to lead them. While Lee Jong Hyun is his second in command in the group, taking over as the need arises, Jung Yong Hwa knows how to schmooze. As evidenced in their ‘reality’ show Cheongdamdong 111, Jung Yong Hwa is a much respected man. His easy smile and affable manners will take him far. Also, while still retaining his Korean heritage, he’s also embraced Western attitudes and culture. I hope to see him enter the political arena one of these days. Possibly when he’s finished military service. But I have no doubt that Jung Yong Hwa will be able to find an easy footing in that arena. In the entertainment industry, he’s already made a name for himself. A gifted songwriter, composer, producer and band member, he’s acknowledged by many. It is his careful personality and tight control of his band image that has taken them very far. I doubt that he could have taken them that far if he didn’t have their respect. And as far as I can see, there is no undermining his leadership. That means that Jung Yong Hwa is a leader with a capital L. And he doesn’t have to crack the whip and chains. I would not be surprised to find him standing in the office of their Blue House as the President one of these days. If not heading one of the bigger conglomerates of Entertainment companies.
That’s it. My list of people to watch out for. Give them 10 years. SM, YG, and JYP will be clamoring for their services.