Disney executive named new CEO of TikTok

Disney executive named new CEO of TikTok
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A Disney executive in charge of the company’s streaming services is leaving to lead the popular video sharing app TikTok. 

Kevin Mayer, Disney's head of direct-to-consumer business, was named CEO of TikTok, the app announced Tuesday. Mayer’s appointment is effective June 1. 

He will also serve as chief operating officer of ByteDance, the Chinese company that owns the app.


“Kevin's wealth of experience building successful global businesses makes him an outstanding fit for our mission of inspiring creativity for users globally,” ByteDance CEO Yiming Zhang said in the announcement. 

“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,” the CEO added. 

In his role at ByteDance, Mayer will lead the company's global development and oversee corporate functions including developments sales, marketing, pubic affairs, security, moderation and legal. 

At Disney, Mayer oversaw the development and rollout of Disney+, the company’s streaming service that launched in November. He also led the company’s other direct-to-consumer businesses, including Hulu, ESPN+ and Hotstar. 

Mayer said he is “thrilled” to join ByteDance and oversee the video sharing app. 

“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 the release. 


He also said he is thankful to the team at Disney for “the tremendous accomplishments we achieved together.”

Some lawmakers and federal officials have voiced concern over the Chinese-owned app, citing U.S. citizens' data security. However, there is no public evidence to suggest the Chinese government has any access to the data collected from U.S. users of TikTok.

The company has also insisted that it does not cooperate with the Chinese government. 

Several government agencies, including nearly all branches of the military, have barred employees from downloading or using TikTok, The New York Times noted

Sen. Josh HawleyJoshua (Josh) David HawleyDeSantis, Pence tied in 2024 Republican poll Chamber of Commerce clarifies stance on lawmakers who voted against election certification Crenshaw pours cold water on 2024 White House bid: 'Something will emerge' MORE (R-Mo.) introduced legislation in March to ban federal employees from using TikTok over security concerns. 

Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerBiden takes victory lap after Senate passes coronavirus relief package Lawmakers demand changes after National Guard troops at Capitol sickened from tainted food Ron Johnson forces reading of 628-page Senate coronavirus relief bill on floor MORE (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Tom CottonTom Bryant CottonSenate to vote next week on Garland's AG nomination Senate rejects Cruz effort to block stimulus checks for undocumented immigrants DeSantis, Pence tied in 2024 Republican poll MORE (R-Ark.) wrote to U.S. intelligence officials in October asking them to assess whether TikTok poses “national security risks.”