Ex-Disney Exec Mayer Leaving TikTok

Kevin Mayer (Image credit: Disney)

Kevin Mayer, the executive who led the launch of Disney Plus for The Walt Disney Co., is leaving his post as CEO of TikTok, the popular social video app owned by the Chinese company ByteDance.

Amid concerns about the security of user data, ByteDance is under pressure to sell a stake of TikTok’s U.S. operations to an American firm by the Trump administration. Microsoft and Oracle have been reportedly negotiating to buy a piece of the company.

Also read: TikTok: Everything You Need to Know About the Hottest Video App in America

In a memo to staff, Mayer called ByteDance a unit company that offered an opportunity to play a leading role in a changing global internet landscape.

“Since joining, I have been incredibly impressed with the team and the company. 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,” he said.

“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,” Mayer said. “I want to be clear that this decision has nothing to do with the company, what I see in our future, or the believe I have in what we are building.”

He added that the role of running TikTok globally will look very different as a result of the U.S. Administration’s action to push to sell off the U.S. business, and that he’d foreseen himself at a global business.

Vanessa Pappas, general manager of TikTok, will be interim head of the organization.

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.