Scooter Braun has taken the title of CEO, HYBE America, the U.S. division of South Korean music company HYBE.
A HYBE representative confirmed to Billboard that Braun is now the sole CEO of HYBE America. Until recently, Braun shared the co-CEO title with veteran HYBE executive Lenzo Yoon. (Braun and Yoon appeared at No. 18 on Billboard’s 2022 Power List along with HYBE chairman Bang Si-yuk.) The HYBE representative declined to comment on Yoon’s current title or any changes to either executive’s role.
Braun joined the company through HYBE’s $1.05 billion acquisition of his Ithaca Holdings in 2021. Ithaca encompasses SB Projects, the management firm behind Justin Bieber and Ariana Grande, as well as the country music-focused Big Machine Music Group. HYBE already had a U.S. presence — the acquisition was made by its state-side subsidiary, HYBE America — but Ithaca gave it the infrastructure and the executive, Braun, to build its presence in the U.S. Today, HYBE America has offices in Los Angeles, New York and Nashville. Braun’s team includes Allison Kaye, president of music, HYBE America and SB Projects; Jennifer McDaniels, president of management, HYBE America and SB Projects; and Jules Ferree, president of brands & ventures, HYBE America and SB Projects.
Yoon has spearheaded HYBE’s efforts to showcase K-pop artists based in the U.S. In a 2021 interview, he told Billboard that the U.S. provided an opportunity to implement the company’s “winning formula” that helped turn BTS into global superstars. HYBE has a joint venture with Universal Music Group’s Geffen Records to search for talent, assemble a girl group and release music. “We will find the most effective way to be successful in this project based on the know-how of the two companies,” said Yoon at the time.
Yoon also said Ithica and HYBE would help one another, but suggested Braun would carve out a distinct role in the organization. “We intend to cooperate in the most efficient way without overlapping in terms of structure,” he said.