Mayer will also step down as COO of parent company ByteDance, citing pressure from the White House to ban the social network because of its ties to China.
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This story originally appeared on PCMag
Kevin Mayer announced his resignation as CEO of TikTok this week after only three months in office. In a letter to staff, Mayer cited White House pressure to ban the social network because of its ties to China.
“I understand that the role I signed up for, including running TikTok around the world, will be very different because of the US government’s actions to sell off its US business,” Mayer wrote in a company-wide memo the point of view of The Wall Street Journal. “I have always focused on my work globally and leading a global team that includes TikTok USA has been a huge asset for me.”
Vanessa Pappas, General Manager of TikTok in the US, will take on the position of Interim Global Director of the platform.
President Trump recently signed an executive order penalizing the U.S. Secretary of Commerce to punish American companies and individuals who did business with ByteDance in Beijing. Penalties include a fine of one million and possible prison terms. In order to save the popular platform from sudden death, Microsoft and Oracle are said to have taken over the activities of TikTok in North America, Australia and New Zealand. Despite the initial September 15 deadline, a recently enacted ordinance gives ByteDance until mid-November to sell its assets in the United States.
“We appreciate that the political dynamics of the past few months have significantly changed the scope of Kevin’s future role, and we fully respect his decision,” a TikTok spokesman said in a statement emailed to PCMag. “We value his time at the company and wish him all the best.”
Mayer may not be a household name, but as Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer of The Walt Disney Company, he has made significant acquisitions from Pixar, Marvel Entertainment, Lucasfilm and 21st Century Fox.
The news comes just a day after TikTok released a collaboration with visual artist and designer Joshua Vides on limited edition clothing with the phrase “Not Going Anywhere”. “The collection reflects the incredible support our community has shown,” said a company blog post. “We pride ourselves on remembering that feeling: TikTok is not going anywhere.”