TikTok has named its new CEO - it is Disney's head of streaming services, Kevin Mayer. Mayer will be based out of the company's offices in Los Angeles, and will oversee all of TikTok's operations globally. He will begin as CEO on June 1.
Mayer will also take over as the chief operating officer for ByteDance, the China-based parent company of TikTok. He will be in charge of ByteDance’s global expansion, including in its music and gaming businesses.
Former TikTok CEO Alex Zhu, who cofounded TikTok predecessor Musical.ly, will become ByteDance's vice president of product and strategy.
ByteDance has been taking steps to distance itself publicly from Beijing this year, after it has faced regulatory issues in the US, regarding rising concerns around how its ties to the Chinese government poses threats to user censorship and national security.
In January TikTok opened a five story office in Los Angeles as the headquarters of its US operations. Bringing in a high profile American executive supports these efforts to distance TikTok specifically, from China.
Mayer is one of the most high profile executives in US entertainment, currently serving as chairman of Disney’s direct-to-consumer and international segment, including Disney+, Hulu and ESPN+.
Disney also announced today that 23-year veteran of the Disney company, Rebecca Campbell, will take over as chairman of Disney’s direct-to-consumer and international division, replacing Mayer.