TikTok hires Disney exec as new CEO

Kevin Mayer will also be chief operating officer of ByteDance

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ByteDance, the parent company of TikTok, announced it has brought on longtime Disney executive Kevin Mayer to be the company’s chief operating officer.

Starting June 1, Mayer will report to ByteDance’s founder and CEO, Yiming Zhang, according to a company press release. He will be in charge of driving global development and overseeing corporate functions including corporate development, sales, marketing, public affairs, security, moderation and legal.

Kevin Mayer (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

Moreover, Mayer will lead music, gaming, Helo and emerging businesses in addition to serving as CEO of TikTok.

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“Kevin's wealth of experience building successful global businesses makes him an outstanding fit for our mission of inspiring creativity for users globally,” Yiming shared in a statement. "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."

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At The Walt Disney Company, Mayer spent more than 25 years in various roles. He led the media giant’s Direct-to-Consumer Internation segments since its founding in 2018 and oversaw the launch of ESPN+, Disney+ and the integration of Hulu.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
DISWALT DISNEY COMPANY147.13-1.96-1.31%

Mayer also served as Disney’s chief strategy officer and played an instrumental role in facilitating acquisitions, which included the acquisition of 21st Century Fox in 2019.

“Kevin has had an extraordinary impact on our company over the years, most recently as head of our direct-to-consumer business,” said Disney CEO Bob Chapek in a company statement. “He has done a masterful job of overseeing and growing our portfolio of streaming services, while bringing together the creative and technological assets required to launch the hugely successful Disney+ globally. Having worked alongside Kevin for many years on the senior management team, I am enormously grateful to him for his support and friendship and wish him tremendous success going forward.”

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Disneyland Resort’s President Rebecca Campbell will succeed Mayer as Disney’s chairman of DTCI – a whopping 27 weeks after her last promotion at the company.

"I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to join the amazing team at ByteDance," Mayer shared in ByteDance’s press release. "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,”

“On a personal note, I'm thankful to the entire Disney team for the tremendous accomplishments we achieved together. I'm especially grateful to Bob Iger for his visionary leadership and mentorship over many years, and Bob Chapek whom I greatly admire,” he added. “As I begin a new chapter, I'm humbled by the trust Yiming and the board have placed in me as we move forward with a shared vision of how to scale ByteDance's growth."

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