TikTok CEO Kevin Mayer has left the company, less than three months after he joined the hit short-video app, and US GM Vanessa Pappas will replace him on an interim basis, according to an internal memo.
The development comes days after TikTok sued the Trump administration over an executive order banning transactions in the US with the popular short-form video-sharing app.
Mayer was Walt Disney’s top streaming executive before he joined TikTok on 1 June. He was also appointed as chief operating officer of TikTok’s Chinese parent, ByteDance, at the time.
“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,” Mayer said in the letter.
“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.”
TikTok, in an e-mailed statement, confirmed the departure and said that the political dynamics of the last few months had “significantly changed” the scope of Mayer’s role.
ByteDance’s 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 US and India”.
He said Mayer had joined the firm just as it was “entering arguably our most challenging moment”.
“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,” Zhang said. — Reported by Yingzhi Yang, Kanishka Singh and Katie Paul, (c) 2020 Reuters