TikTok CEO Kevin Mayer today announced that he is stepping down and will be leaving the company (via The New York Times). In a note sent to employees, Mayer said that he was prompted to leave by the recent “changes to TikTok’s structure.”
Kevin Mayer wrote in the email:
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. 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.
Vanessa Pappas, who is currently the general manager of TikTok in North America, will now assume the role of the company’s global head.
Last month, President Donald Trump launched an ad campaign against the ByteDance-owned app, calling for Americans to sign a petition to ban it. Earlier this month, the Trump administration called TikTok a “significant threat” over its ties with China and decided to block all transactions with ByteDance beginning September 20. Just a week later, however, another executive order gave ByteDance 90 days to sell TikTok’s U.S. business. Claiming that the executive order was passed without any concrete evidence or due process, TikTok sued the U.S. government earlier this week.
In addition to Microsoft and Twitter, Oracle is also said to be negotiating a deal with ByteDance to acquire TikTok’s businesses in the U.S., Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.