TikTok’s next CEO will be Kevin Mayer, a top Disney executive who spearheaded the launch of Disney Plus. TikTok, a social app for sharing short videos, has exploded in popularity in recent years, but the China-based service has bumped up against questions in the US and elsewhere for its privacy, child-safety, user data and content moderations practices.
Monday, TikTok-owner ByteDance said it named Mayer the CEO of TikTok and the chief operating officer of ByteDance as a whole, reporting to ByteDance’s founder and CEO Yiming Zhang.
“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,” Mayer said in a statement, adding a note of thanks to Disney, it chairman Bob Iger and newly installed CEO Bob Chapek.
Mayer was widely considered to be on the short list of executives to potentially succeed Iger as Disney’s CEO, especially after the success of Disney Plus’ launch. Chapek was named Disney’s CEO in late February.
Disney didn’t immediately respond to messages seeking comment.
Mayer led the Disney division that developed and launched Disney Plus in November. The service has been a hit, spawning cultural phenoms like Baby Yoda and rapidly ramping up to more than 50 million subscribers in less than six months. One analyst called it “one of the greatest product launches of all time.”