The Brain Behind Disney+ Joins ByteDance to Lead TikTok

TikTok-owner ByteDance has appointed former Disney streaming executive Kevin Mayer as the new Chief Operating Officer, effective June 1. Mayer will also serve as the Chief Executive Officer of TikTok. 

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As COO, Mayer will be responsible for ByteDance’s global development and will oversee corporate functions including corporate development, sales, marketing, public affairs, security, auditing and law. He will report directly to CEO Zhang Yiming. 

Mayer with his expertise in entertainment will lead the Chinese tech company’s music, gaming and emerging businesses as CEO of the popular video-sharing platform TikiTok. Prior to joining ByteDance and TikTok, Mayer, as chairman of Disney’s Direct-to-Consumer & International divisions successfully led the development of Disney+, the company’s on-demand streaming service. 

Zhang commented on the hire, “Kevin’s wealth of experience building successful global businesses makes him an outstanding fit for our mission of inspiring creativity for users globally. As one of the world’s most accomplished entertainment executives, Kevin is incredibly well placed to take ByteDance’s portfolio of products to the next level. I look forward to working very closely with Kevin on our global development and the next chapter of the ByteDance story.” 

Mayer said in a statement, “I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to join the amazing team at ByteDance. Like everyone else, I’ve been impressed watching the company build something incredibly rare in TikTok – a creative, positive online global community – and I’m excited to help lead the next phase of ByteDance’s journey as the company continues to expand its breadth of products across every region of the world.”

The current TikTok CEO Alex Zhu will become vice president of Product & Strategy to follow his passions of strategy and product design. Other international, national and regional leaders will continue serving in their current positions, including Kelly Zhang and Lidong Zhang, who remain as CEO and Chairman of ByteDance China and report directly to global CEO Zhang Yiming.