Kevin Mayer, TikTok CEO, Resigns Three Months After He Took Over TikTok In May 2020

On Wednesday, Kevin Mayer, the Chief Executive Officer of TikTok, announced that he is resigning, just after three months, the former Disney executive took over TikTok, the world’s largest short-video-sharing app, in mid-May of this year. According to a report published by the FT, Mayer told employees in a letter that he is resigning. In the interim, Vanessa Pappas will lead TikTok who is the current general manager at the company.

Kevin Mayer made the decision following President Donald Trump’s threat to ban TikTok in ninety days unless a US company acquired the US operation of TikTok. President Donald Trump signed an executive order on August 6 of this year to shut down ByteDance-owned TikTok, if ByteDance does not sell the United States operations of TikTok to a US company.

A company’s spokesman told media outlets that the company appreciates that the political dynamics of the past few months have significantly changed what the scope of the role of Kevin Mayer would be going forward. He added that the company respects Mayer’s decision, and they wish him well. In his letter to TikTok employees, Mayer wrote that during the last few weeks, as the political environment has significantly changed, he has done significant reflection on what the corporate changes will require, and what it means for the global role that he signed up for. He wrote that against this backdrop, and as we expect to reach a resolution very soon, he has decided to leave TikTok.

It is important to note that TikTok is also fighting back, and the company filed a lawsuit on Monday that asks the judge to block the executive order signed by United States President Donald Trump. The lawsuit alleges that the government did not allow the company to respond to the national security concerns cited as the reason for the potential ban on TikTok in the US. TikTok has repeatedly said that the company does not share user data with the Chinese government.

Kevin Mayer joined TikTok on June 1 after fifteen years with Disney. He was executive vice president of corporate strategy, business development, and technology at Disney, and he helped oversee Disney’s acquisition of Marvel, LucasFilm, and Pixar. Mayer called the future of TikTok ‘bright’ and he wrote that he wants to be clear that his decision to leave TikTok has nothing to do with the company.

Photo: Jesse Grant via Getty Images

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