AGENCIES, California: TikTok chief executive officer Kevin Mayer has quit, the company said in a statement. His resignation comes days after the popular short-form video-sharing app and one of its employees separately sued US President Donald Trump’s administration over his executive order banning transactions in the US, calling it a pretext to fuel anti-China rhetoric as he seeks re-election.
In a letter to staff, the TikTok CEO said: “It is with a heavy heart that I wanted to let you all know that I have decided to leave the company.” TikTok general manager Vanessa Pappas will replace Kevin Mayer on an interim basis.
In June, Mayer assumed the role of chief operating officer (COO) at TikTok’s China-based parent, ByteDance. He reports directly to the company’s founder and CEO Yiming Zhang.
Mayer had joined TikTok following a long and successful career at Disney, most recently as chairman of its direct-to-consumer and international businesses, according to TikTok’s website.
Meanwhile, the California-based TikTok and ByteDance have rejected what they call the White House’s position that it was a national security threat, saying they had taken “extraordinary measures to protect the privacy and security of TikTok’s US user data”. They also described Trump’s call in his August 6 executive order for a TikTok ban as a means to further his alleged “broader campaign of anti-China rhetoric” ahead of the November 3 US presidential election, where Trump is seeking a second term.