Kevin Mayer will officially become CEO of TikTok and Chief Operating Officer of ByteDance on June 1st.
Kevin Mayer will step down as head of Disney‘s streaming division and will be CEO of video-sharing sensation TikTok.
The app, owned by Chinese company Byte Dance, is very popular among teens and college students and has seen a huge surge in participation since the coronavirus epidemic began.
A loft living in the entertainment
It is not the first time the Kevin Mayer has made the risky leap from the family entertainment company Disney to the young streaming disruptor TikTok.
Mayer, who began his career in business development at Disney, left the healthy brand in 2000 as CEO of Playboy.com before returning to Disney.
Last fall, Mayer made waves in the entertainment world, launching Disney +.
When Disney CEO Bob Iger stepped down in February, many thought the Mayer would be the most logical choice for a successor, but the position eventually went to Robert Chappec, head of Disney theme parks and consumer products.
The apparent snooping led to speculation that the Mayer would leave Disney.
TikTok strategic Hire
TikTok currently allows users to create and share 15-, 30- or 60-second videos but sees its current service as a startup.
Byte Dance is already seeking to expand the TikTok brand into the music streaming world, and with Mayer’s experience in the streaming landscape, he was a clear choice to lead the company’s next growth phase.
Another reason why Byte Dance wanted to bring the Mayer into the fold was related to a push to “westernize” its leadership and raise its image in the United States. Chinese-owned TikTok has come under fire from US authorities for violating privacy.
After Byte Dance first acquired TikTok, fears of the Chinese government’s control over usage data sparked a national security review in the United States. Many US lawmakers have proposed legislation banning politicians from using dichotomies outside of privacy concerns.
But as TikTok expands its range in the states, it has brought in a few American technicians to lead the ship and boost its image. Vanessa Pappas, the administrator of YouTube, and Erich Anderson, a member of the TikTok team, have joined the team in the last few months.
Kevin Mayer will officially become the CEO of TikTok and the chief operating officer of Byte Dance on June 1. Rebecca Campbell, who has two decades of experience with Disney, will assume the former role of Mayer, taking the helm of the ever-important Disney + service.
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