Lee Soo-man, founder and former chief producer of K-pop giant SM Entertainment, bid farewell to what he called "his era" at the company and said he was "moving toward the future."
Lee, who had named the company after his own initials, released a media statement on Friday just before the company's shareholders meeting on Friday. In it, he stressed that K-pop should reach beyond itself, and evolve into a global music genre.
The entertainment guru said that music that brings the world together should fuse music and technology, and its aim should be to contribute to a more sustainable world.
Lee said he decided to pass on his stake in the company to Hybe chairman Bang Si-hyuk because of such a shared vision of music and its contribution to a sustainable world. Lee, who is widely known as the godfather of K-pop, currently owns three-point-65 percent of SM shares.
In the statement, he also denied media reports speculating that he would attend the shareholders meeting, noting that he was currently overseas.