- Kevin Mayer, CEO of TikTok, resigns on Wednesday, just over 100 days after entering as top executive of the world’s largest short video app.
Kevin Mayer, CEO of TikTok, resigns on Wednesday, just over 100 days after entering as top executive of the world’s largest short video app.
The news came on the heel of TikTok’s attempt to sue the U.S. government over its impending ban just days. The app, operated by Chinese internet upstart ByteDance, is caught up in tensions between Beijing and Washington, accusing the app of posing a threat to U.S. national security.
President Donal Trump signed an executive order on August 6 to shut down TikTok if ByteDance doesn’t sell U.S. operations of the app. The App has to divest itself before mid-November.
“We understand that the political dynamics of the past few months have changed dramatically what the nature of Kevin’s position will be going forward, and fully support his decision. We thank him for his time at the company and wish him well, “a spokesperson for TikTok told TechCrunch in a statement.
The New York Times reported earlier that Mayer announced his decision as TikTok came under pressure from the Trump administration over its ties to China in a note to employees. Mayer “didn’t expect to what degree TikTok would become involved in conflicts between China and the US,” sources told the Financial Times, and the executive “didn’t sign up for that.”
Vanessa Pappas, currently general manager of TikTok, will reportedly become the interim head.
The impending sale of TikTok has drawn investor interest across the board, from Microsoft’s publicly announcing its intention to the less anticipated Oracle bidder.
Mayer was the top streaming executive of Walt Disney Co, before joining TikTok on June 1. He was also named as the chief operating officer of the Chinese parent of TikTok, at the time ByteDance.
“In recent weeks, as the political climate has changed dramatically, I have done a big reflection on what the systemic changes in companies will take, and what it means for the global position I have signed up for,” Mayer said in the document.
“Faced with this backdrop, and as we expect a settlement to be found very soon, it is with a heavy heart that I wanted to let you all know that I decided to quit the firm.”
TikTok confirmed the departure in an emailed statement and said the political dynamics of the last few months had “significantly changed” the nature of Mayer’s position.