SM’s star maker lectures at Stanford on entertainment

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SM’s star maker lectures at Stanford on entertainment


Lee Soo-man, founder and CEO of SM Entertainment, speaks about the company at Stanford University on Tuesday local time. Provided by SM Entertainment

In Korea, Lee Soo-man, founder and CEO of SM Entertainment, is known as the show business entrepreneur with the Midas touch. From H.O.T. to S.E.S. to Super Junior and Girls’ Generation, Lee has been nurturing the nation’s top K-pop groups since the late 1990s.

Lee, a singer-turned-businessman, is also famous for his fortune. As of last year, Lee’s shares in the company were valued at around 26.2 billion won ($23.6 million), the highest among entertainment personalities, according to, a local Web site that analyzes the fortunes of prominent figures in Korea.

Outside Korea, however, Lee is more famous as a Hallyu expert, or the Korean Wave. The 59-year-old businessman recently gave a lecture at Stanford University on Tuesday local time. About 100 students from the school’s MBA program flocked to hear Lee speak about SM Entertainment’s global and local business strategies, which are often benchmarked by production companies overseas, especially in Southeast Asian countries.

SM Entertainment is involved in every aspect of training and development of its artists on its roster. It takes budding artists up to 10 years to go through the rigorous system, which can even involve language lessons.

Lee is considered the first person to develop the system, which is now widely used in Korea. The system has opened a new era in K-pop by producing highly trained, triple threat superstars, beginning with the now-defunct H.O.T., a five-member group that made its debut in 1996.

After conquering the Korean market, SM Entertainment moved some of its signers into Japan in 2001, including BoA.

The most recent group to debut there was nine-member Girls’ Generation, whose second single “Gee” reached No. 1 on Japan’s prestigious Oricon Chart.

Lee’s appearance at Stanford was not his first at a foreign university. He lectured at Harvard University from 2006 to 2008 and has also spoken at MIT and Cornell University.

Lee got his start as a singer in the early ’70s and established SM Entertainment in 1995.

Among the nation’s three major entertainment companies - SM Entertainment, JYP Entertainment and YG Entertainment - SM Entertainment is the biggest in terms of sales.

As of last year, SM Entertainment reported 86.4 billion won in sales, 39 percent higher than a year ago.

By Sung So-young []

한글 관련 기사 [일간스포츠]

이수만, 스탠포드 대학에서 특별 강연 가져

이수만 SM 엔터테인먼트 프로듀서가 명문 스탠포드 대학교에서 특별 강연을 가졌다.

이수만은 20일 미국 캘리포니아 주 스탠포드 대학 내 나이트 매니지먼트 센터에서 '한류 비즈니스 전략'에 대해 강연을 했다. 이날 100여명이 넘는 MBA 학생들이 몰려, 이수만과 한류에 높은 관심을 드러냈다.

SM 엔터테인먼트 관계자는 "이수만 프로듀서가 한류를 이끈 SM의 세계화 전략과 독특한 경영전략, 성공 비결 등에 대해 열띤 강의를 펼쳤다"며 "지난해에는 '2010 하버드 아시아 비즈니스 컨퍼런스'에 특별초청을 받는 등 지속적인 강의 러브콜을 받고 있다"고 전했다.

이날 이수만의 큰 아들인 이현규 씨가 직접 통역을 맡아 눈길을 끌었다. 강연 내용은 물론 이수만 프로듀서의 재치 있는 멘트와 유머까지 센스 있게 통역해 강연을 화기애애하게 만들었다고 소속사가 밝혔다.

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