Lee Soo Man, also known as the father of the K-Pop industry, holds a huge chunk of shares in SM Entertainment Group. New reports revealed that Kakao Entertainment has become the second largest shareholder of his K-pop label. Let us explore Lee’s estimated net worth as of 2023.
Lee Soo Man’s Net Worth 2023
The founder of SM Entertainment, Lee Soo Man is one of the richest men in Korea. Born on July 18, 1952, the former, singer and TV host, is also known as the “Father of the K-Pop Industry”. The man has played a pivotal role in the success of prominent artists like BoA, SHINee, TVXQ and more. Billboard listed Lee Soo Man as the world’s most influential music industry leader.
As of 2023, Lee Soo Man’s net worth is more than $200 million, courtesy of his huge percentage of shares in SM Entertainment. After selling most of his shares, Lee currently owns around 18.46% of the company’s shares, worth more than $300 million. If we include SM’s stocks and Lee Soo Man’s previous earnings, his net worth stands at more than $200 million as of Feb. 2023.
Many outlets reported that Lee Soo Man has decided to sue SM Entertainment, the very same company he founded. This has worried many of those who have bought shares in this company. It came out that the company had plans of ousting him completely. He’d be suing SM Entertainment regarding some illegal actions taken by the company.
On Monday (Feb. 6), the news outlet Newsis reported that the long-time SM Entertainment artist and company executive Kim Min Jong criticized the company’s plans for SM 3.0 in an email: “SM Entertainment needs producer Lee Soo Man’s senses, and we should respect Lee Soo Man, who has pledged his whole life to the founding and expansion of SM Entertainment.” It appears like the move will fluctuate his net worth.
More About Lee Soo Man…
If you aren’t aware, Lee Soo Man left the entertainment world in the early 80s to pursue his career in computer engineering. He moved to the United States to get a master’s degree at California State University, Northridge, where he witnessed the rise of “superstars of the MTV generation” such as Michael Jackson.
But again, the heyday of MTV inspired him and he decided to lay the foundation for the modern Korean pop industry. In 1985, he returned to Korea “with a vision of what the Korean music industry could be.” Even though he formed a band (Lee Soo-man and The 365 Days), the then-Chun Doo-hwan’s government discouraged him from following his ambition.
Initially, he worked as a DJ and a presenter, and after four years of savings, he established SM Studio in Seol. The first singer signed by him was Hyun Jin-young. Soon, the company started reaching teenage audiences and created an impact across Korea. Today, K-pop is taking over the world and Lee Soo Man stands as the most respectable figure in this industry, a man behind several successful artists.