3 Months In, TikTok CEO Has Had Enough

Kevin Mayer resigns, cites US government's push for sale
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 27, 2020 7:26 AM CDT
3 Months In, TikTok CEO Has Had Enough
In this July 13, 2015, file photo, then Disney chief strategy officer Kevin Mayer visits the company's "accelerator" space in Glendale, Calif.   (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, File)

TikTok CEO Kevin Mayer is calling it quits after just three months, citing major changes as a result of "the US administration's action to push for a selloff of the US business," per the Wall Street Journal. The White House has said the app will be effectively banned unless owner ByteDance, a Chinese tech company, sells its US operations by mid-September. This comes amid fears that data could be shared with the Chinese government, a claim TikTok denies. In a letter to staff on Wednesday, Mayer—who arrived at TikTok in May from the Walt Disney Company and also served as ByteDance's COO—said the sale would disrupt "the global role I signed up for," per the New York Times. Back in May, he said he was leaving Disney because "the magnitude of this opportunity was just something I couldn't pass up."

"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 in a statement. Mayer—to be replaced in the interim by US general manager Vanessa Pappas—nonetheless signaled great things ahead. "We face challenges, but I have tremendous confidence that we have a world-class security team in place working to make people on our platform safe, and an amazing global team that makes this such a unique, creative and inclusive platform," he said. Companies including Microsoft and Oracle have expressed interest in buying TikTok's US business, which includes more than 100 million users, for as much as $50 billion, per the Times. (Meanwhile, TikTok is suing the US government.)

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