Sony Music Entertainment Korea (SMEK) has appointed Bobby Youngchan Ju as its new managing director.

He will oversee all of the company’s operations in the country, build and strengthen strategic partnership, and grow SMEK’s local roster. He takes the reins from Joseph Chang, and will report directly to Shridhar Subramaniam, Sony Music’s president of corporate strategy and market development for Asia and the Middle East.

“Korea is a fast-growing market and continues to deliver global hit after hit, proving that music transcends borders and cultures and requires no passport to have global appeal,” Ju said. “It is an honour to be leading the business into its next phase of growth.”

Ju joined SMEK’s A&R team a decade ago and has played a key role since 2012, signing K-pop acts and managing SMEK’s label as manager of A&R, distribution and label relations. In 2020, he was promoted to head those divisions, as well as artist management and outbound marketing. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business from Chung-Ang University.

Subramaniam said Ju was the right choice because “he is known for always putting the artist first,” and comes in with “strong relationships with our artists, both new and established … and the trust of our strategic partners in Korea.”

“Bobby is building off a robust platform that has been well established over the past few years and inherits an excellent management team,” he added.

SMEK has also internally promoted three other veteran executives.

Elin Her, who has been with Sony Music for 15 years, has been promoted to general manager of marketing for Korea, and will retain her role as senior director of marketing for China. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in cultural studies from York University.

Taeky Kim has been promoted to director of digital business. He joined SMEK in 2015 as part of the promotions team and in 2020 was promoted to oversee all digital licensing, external affairs, digital operations and business development.

Additionally, Hugh Kim is now senior marketing director for international repertoire. He has worked in SMEK’s international marketing department for 19 years across strategic marketing, catalog and classical.