TikTok CEO Kevin Mayer resigns


A file photo of then Disney chief strategy officer Kevin Mayer at the company’s ‘accelerator’ space in Glendale, California. TikTok CEO Mayer resigned on Aug 27, 2020 amid US pressure for its Chinese owner to sell the popular video app, which the White House says is a security risk. His resignation comes after Trump ordered a ban on TikTok, unless parent company Bytedance sells its US operations to an American company within 90 days. — AP

LOS ANGELES: Kevin Mayer has stepped down as CEO of TikTok, just months after taking the job and after recent pressure by US President Donald Trump over the app’s security, Variety has confirmed.

Mayer sent a letter to TikTok and ByteDance employees on Wednesday night, announcing his decision.

“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,” Mayer said in the letter.

“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.”

Mayer’s exit comes just weeks after Trump signed an executive order to ban TikTok unless its parent company ByteDance sold its US assets to an American company within 90 days. Microsoft is in talks to buy the short-form video app, while other US buyers who are reportedly interested include Twitter and software giant Oracle.

Before joining TikTok in May, Mayer was The Walt Disney Company’s chairman of the direct-to-consumer & international division. He previously served as senior executive vice president and chief strategy officer of Disney.

“We appreciate that the political dynamics of the last few months have significantly changed what the scope of Kevin’s role would be going forward, and fully respect his decision,” TikTok said to Variety. “We thank him for his time at the company and wish him well.”

Read Mayer’s letter below.

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.

I want to be clear that this decision has nothing to do with the company, what I see for our future, or the belief I have in what we are building. Yiming understands my decision and I thank him for his support on this.

As we look to the next phase of this company, there is no doubt that the future is incredibly bright. For our users, any potential structural changes should not affect their experience, and I strongly believe that our community will be more creative and diverse than ever. The platform will continue to provide our global community an amazing and integrated experience as it does today. Similarly, from an employee perspective, I believe that the vast majority of work will be unchanged. – Variety/Reuters

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