Vanessa Pappas, who is the general manager of TikTok in the US right now, will be taking over from him in the interim
The developments suggest the company is in the process of breaking up operations, perhaps selling the US arm of TikTok
TikTok’s chief executive, Kevin Mayer, is going to leave the company. Mayer has sent a letter to employees announcing his departure, and Vanessa Pappas, who is the general manager of TikTok in the US right now, will be taking over from him in the interim. Mayer had joined TikTok earlier this year from Disney.
In his letter, Mayer said the “political environment" has “sharply changed" in recent weeks and that the company will require “corporate structural changes" due to the same. He added that the company expects to “reach a resolution" soon but said his role, which was to run TikTok globally, will look different thanks to the US government’s ban on the platform.
TikTok has confirmed Mayer's departure. "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," a TikTok spokesperson said.
The development suggests the company is in the process of breaking up operations, perhaps selling the US arm of TikTok. Technology giants such as Microsoft and Oracle have been said to be in talks with the company for a sale. US President Donald Trump had earlier given TikTok 45 days to sell its business in the US or face a ban in the country.
The once popular short-video app has been facing heat from governments in both US and India. In India, Bytedance-owned apps TikTok and Helo were banned over a month back. The US order came after India banned the apps, following the Galwan Valley skirmish with China. The country also banned over 50 other Chinese apps from operating in the country.
The ban has also created a window of opportunity for Indian short video apps to capitalize. Platforms such as Mitron, Bolo Indya, and Chingari have received funding in the last few months, while bigger players such as Sharechat (with its short video app, Moj) and MX Taka Tak have also been spending money to grow their platforms. Sharechat has also been in talks with Microsoft for a new round of funding.