Kevin Mayer leaves Disney to join ByteDance as TikTok CEO

Kevin Mayer, CEO, TikTok

Disney’s Chairman of Direct-to-Consumer and International Division is set to step down from his position at the Walt Disney Company to become the new Chief Executive Officer of TikTok.

ByteDance announced it has named Kevin Mayer Chief Operating Officer (COO) of ByteDance and CEO of TikTok, effective June 1, 2020.

Mayer will report directly to ByteDance Founder and Chief Executive Officer Yiming Zhang, and will be charged with driving the global development of ByteDance, as well as overseeing corporate functions including corporate development, sales, marketing, public affairs, security, moderation, and legal.

He will be tasked with leading the rapidly growing platform as it continues to build its global community of creators, users, and brands.

“I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to join the amazing team at ByteDance. Like everyone else, I’ve been impressed watching the company build something incredibly rare in TikTok – a creative, positive online global community – and I’m excited to help lead the next phase of ByteDance’s journey as the company continues to expand its breadth of products across every region of the world,” said Mayer.

“On a personal note, I’m thankful to the entire Disney team for the tremendous accomplishments we achieved together.


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“I’m especially grateful to Bob Iger for his visionary leadership and mentorship over many years, and Bob Chapek whom I greatly admire.

“As I begin a new chapter, I’m humbled by the trust Yiming and the board have placed in me as we move forward with a shared vision of how to scale ByteDance’s growth.”

Alex Zhu, the current President of TikTok, will transition to ByteDance VP of Product & Strategy, where he will focus on his primary passion overseeing strategy and product design.

Kelly Zhang and Lidong Zhang will continue to lead the China business as CEO and Chairman of ByteDance China, respectively, reporting to ByteDance’s global CEO.

As part of its commitment to rooting its operations in the local markets it serves, TikTok’s national and regional leaders will remain in their roles with their current responsibilities, reporting in to Mayer, who will be responsible for the global business.

Two days ago, Bob Chapek, Chief Executive Officer of The Walt Disney Company announced that Rebecca Campbell will take over Mayer’s former role as Chairman, Direct-to-Consumer and International.

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