Friday, 2024 March 1

TikTok CEO Kevin Mayer quits amid escalating tensions in the US

Former Disney executive Kevin Mayer, who joined TikTok as CEO in May, has decided to leave the company, the Financial Times reported earlier today. The short video app was caught in the crossfire of the spat between China and the US, with President Donald Trump ordering TikTok-owner ByteDance to divest its US assets within 90 days.

“As the political environment has sharply changed, I have done significant reflection on what the corporate structural changes will require, and what it means for the global role I signed up for,” Mayer wrote in a letter to employees. “I understand that the role that I signed up for—including running TikTok globally—will look very different as a result of the US Administration’s action to push for a sell-off of the US business.”

ByteDance founder Zhang Yiming, in his response, thanked Mayer for his efforts. “I want to let you know that we are moving quickly to find resolutions to the issues that we face globally, particularly in the US and India,” he said, adding that he cannot provide any details at this point.

Current TikTok general manager Vanessa Pappas will become the interim head, according to Zhang’s letter.

With over 2 billion downloads globally, TikTok is the most successful product of Beijing-based ByteDance. TikTok announced earlier this week that it is suing the Trump administration for the executive order banning US transactions with the company.

Wency Chen
Wency Chen
Wency Chen is a reporter KrASIA based in Beijing, covering tech innovations in&beyond the Greater China Area. Previously, she studied at Columbia Journalism School and reported on art exhibits, New York public school systems, LGBTQ+ rights, and Asian immigrants. She is also an enthusiastic reader, a diehard fan of indie rock and spicy hot pot, as well as a to-be filmmaker (Let’s see).

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