TikTok CEO Kevin Mayer quits after President Trump threatens to ban the app in the US
The former Disney executive had joined TikTok only four months ago. He told employees in a letter that the role he signed up for will look very different once TikTok’s US business is sold off.
TikTok chief Kevin Mayer has quit just after four months of being the chief executive. Mayer sent out a letter to all employees announcing his decision to resign, reported Financial Times. Mayer told employees at TikTok and ByteDance of his decision to resign on Thursday. Vanessa Pappas, who is currently general manager of TikTok, will act as interim head, according to Mayer's letter.
Mayer, who joined TikTok after working with Disney, made the decision to quit after US President Donald Trump ordered TikTok to be banned in the country unless its sold its US assets to an American company within 90 days.
Mayer wrote in his letter that he had reflected on what the corporate structural changes will require given the sharp change in the political environment and what it means for the global role he signed up for. Mayer went on to write that while the company is expected to arrive at a resolution soon, he's decided to leave.
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“I understand that the role that I signed up for — including running TikTok globally — will look very different as a result of the US administration's action to push for a sell off of the US business,” Mayer wrote in the letter.
The whole face-off between the Trump administration and TikTok began weeks after Mayer officially came on board in June. People familiar with the matter said that Mayer had not anticipated the extent to which TikTok would become involved in the US-China tensions as the Trump administration and regulators raised concerns about data privacy and national security.
A person in the know told Financial Times that Mayer has not “signed up for this”. One person who is familiar with Mayer's stint at Disney told Financial Times that Mayer put himself in a sensitive political zone and that he would have to align himself with both his Chinese masters and public scrutiny in the US.
Earlier this month Trump said that his administration had credible evidence that ByteDance might take action to hurt US security.
“We appreciate that the political dynamics of the last few months have significantly changed what the scope of Kevin's role would be going forward, and fully respect his decision. We thank him for his time at the company and wish him well,” TikTok said in a statement to Financial Times.
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