Who Is the Leader of &Team?

Larger groups might require more leadership. For example, the Pledis Entertainment boy group Seventeen famously has three leaders to oversee three respective subunits, in addition to one of them being the overall leader. And the YG Entertainment boy group Treasure has two co-leaders, an extremely unusual situation. The HYBE Labels Japan boy group &Team also has a unique arrangement when it comes to leadership. So among K, Fuma, Nicholas, EJ, Yuma, Jo, Harua, Taki, and Maki, here is the complete answer to who the leader of &Team is (as well as who its sub-leader is).

The Leader of &Team Is EJ, and the Sub-Leader is Fuma

EJ is the official leader of the group, while Fuma is the sub-leader. This unique arrangement was originally announced in a YouTube video uploaded on February 6, 2023, aptly titled, “Who is the LEADER.” In that video, the &Team members discussed among themselves and with their managers what sorts of qualities that a leader should embody, and each member described how they would approach being the leader if selected. Ultimately, HYBE revealed that there would be two leaders, a leader and a sub-leader, and it chose EJ and Fuma for those roles, respectively.

HYBE did not provide explicit insight into how this decision was made. However, K, the oldest member of &Team, offered encouraging words to EJ, saying, “I thought EJ would be the best choice. EJ tries his best to understand everyone’s emotions. I think EJ is the member who knows the best when another member is hurting, sad, or shy.” EJ and Fuma committed to doing a good job for the team. Since EJ is originally from South Korea and Fuma is originally from Japan, having the two of them leading together may help overall communication among the group.

EJ is the leader of &Team, and Fuma is the sub-leader of &Team at HYBE Labels Japan K-pop
Fuma (left) is the sub-leader, and EJ (right) is the leader of &Team.

Indeed, Fuma described the types of ways in which he and EJ communicate in a Weverse interview published on June 26, 2023: “I can tell him about all the good things and the bad things I’m feeling inside. We talk a lot about the group when we eat together too. We were having barbecue together recently and talking about how there’s actually a big age gap in our group so it’s especially hard for the youngest to speak up with their ideas. So we talked about how we could create an environment where everyone feels comfortable exchanging ideas.”

EJ first learned about being a leader for the team during Round 2 of HYBE audition series &Audition – The Howling –, when he led a smaller group (which included Fuma) in performing “Hero” by Monsta X. The team did not do well during their interim check prior to their real performance, and he felt “really ashamed” about letting his team down. But for the sake of team energy, he set those feelings aside and maintained positivity, and the team performed well in their real performance.

Meanwhile, Fuma first demonstrated leadership during Round 3 of the series, when his team elected him to lead because they believed he understood the creativity necessary to thrive in a mission about creating original choreography for a Seventeen song. He ultimately created all the choreography for the performance himself. In the finale of &Audition, Fuma was also praised for leading all of the trainees well. In ways like these, EJ and Fuma gradually graduated into their leadership roles.

In summary, EJ is the leader of &Team, and Fuma is the sub-leader of &Team. Together, they guide their multinational team forward toward success. For more about the group, check out how old the &Team members currently are and a look back at when they originally debuted. And for another, earlier group with a unique leader and sub-leader arrangement (also Korean and Japanese, respectively!), check out who the leaders of Kep1er are.

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