Disney’s Mayer Jumps to Become TikTok CEO

Kevin Mayer
Kevin Mayer (Image credit: Disney)


Kevin Mayer, the Walt Disney Co., who helped launch Disney Plus but didn’t get to succeed Bob Iger as CEO, will become Chief executive of TikTok, the video making and sharing app popular with kids.

Succeeding Mayer is Rebecca Campbell, who once ran Disney’s owned station group and more recently oversaw Disneyland and Disney California Adventure.

As Disney began its pivot to streaming, Mayer was named chairman of Disney’s direct-to-consumer and international business in 2018. In addition to launching Disney Plus, Mayer was responsible for advertising sales at Disney and eventually took control of Hulu as Disney bought out its partners AT&T and Comcast.

At TikTok, he’ll be in charge of figuring out how to monetize the app’s popularity while navigating charges that it might share user data with its Chinese government owned parent company.

Also read: Disney Plus: How It Went From Zero to 28.6 Million in Less Than Three Months

 “Kevin has had an extraordinary impact on our company over the years,” Bob Chapek, who was named Disney’s CEO earlier this year. “He has done a masterful job of overseeing and growing our portfolio of streaming services, while bringing together the creative and technological assets required to launch the hugely successful Disney+ globally. Having worked alongside Kevin for many years on the senior management team, I am enormously grateful to him for his support and friendship and wish him tremendous success going forward.”

Campbell has been a member of Disney’s Direct-to-Consumer and International division since it was started.

“As we look to grow our direct-to-consumer business and continue to expand into new markets, I can think of no one better suited to lead this effort than Rebecca,” Mr. Chapek said. “She is an exceptionally talented and dedicated leader with a wealth of experience in media, operations and international businesses.  She played a critical role in the launch of Disney+ globally while overseeing the EMEA region, and her strong business acumen and creative vision will be invaluable in taking our successful and well-established streaming services into the future.”

Campbell most recently was president of Disneyland Resource. Before that, she was president of the Walt Disney Co.’s EMEA region.  From 2010 to 2017, Campbell was president of the ABC Owned Television Stations and before that ran WABC-TV, New York. She joined Disney in 1997 as VP of programming at WPVI-TV, Philadelphia.

 “Having been a part of the Direct-to-Consumer and International leadership team, I know what a stellar group it is, and I’m honored to be able to lead the organization during this dynamic and exciting time. Armed with the best creative content engines and technology teams in the industry, I am extremely confident in our ability to continue growing the business around the globe,” she said.

Mayer first joined Disney in 1993 and led strategy and business development for all of Disney’s interactive, internet and television businesses worldwide. He left to become CEO of Clear Channel Interactive and to be partner at L.E.K. Consulting.

He returned to Disney in 2005 and became senior executive VP and chief strategy officer. He helps put together acquisitions including Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm and BAMtech, leading up to buying 21st Century Fox. 

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.