TikTok CEO Kevin Mayer has quit after less than three months of joining the Bytedance-owned short video app. The TikTok CEO quits after an increasingly difficult period for the service, which was banned from India and faces a similar future in USA as well – two of its biggest markets globally. TikTok’s US General Manager, Vanessa Pappas, is slated to replace Mayer on an interim basis ahead of deciding the app’s future, according to a Reuters report.
The video-sharing platform has been facing a lot of pressure from the US government over privacy issues concerning user data. President Donald Trump has signed executive orders, demanding that TikTok either sell its US arm to an American country or face a complete ban. There were talks of Microsoft, Netflix, Twitter and Oracle arranging meetings with TikTok’s parent company ByteDance.
Mayer, now the ex-CEO of TikTok, led Walt Disney Co before joining the Bytedance platform on June 1. He was also appointed as CEO of TikTok’s Chinese parent, ByteDance, at the time. In a letter announcing his departure, Mayer reportedly said, “In recent weeks, 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. Against this backdrop, and as we expect to reach a resolution very soon, it is with a heavy heart that I wanted to let you all know that I have decided to leave the company.”
According to a Reuters report, TikTok confirmed the departure and said that the political dynamics of the last few months had “significantly changed” the scope of Mayer’s role. ByteDance founder and CEO, Zhang Yiming, said in a separate letter that the company was “moving quickly to find resolutions to the issues that we face globally, particularly in the U.S. and India.”
He said Mayer had joined the firm just as it was “entering arguably our most challenging moment.” He further added, “It is never easy to come into a leadership position in a company moving as quickly as we are, and the circumstances following his arrival made it all the more complex.”