Disney streaming chief Kevin Mayer resigns to become TikTok CEO
Kevin Mayer is leaving his post as the head of Disney’s streaming division to become the CEO of the viral video app TikTok, Disney announced today. He will also become the COO of TikTok’s Chineese owner, ByteDance.
“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 statement.
Mayer’s biggest achievement at Disney was leading the development of Disney+, the company’s streaming service that launched in November. So far, the service has been a hit, reaching 50 million subscribers in April. Mayer also helped orchestrate Disney’s four major acquisitions alongside former CEO Bob Iger: Pixar, Lucasfilm, Marvel Studios, and 21st Century Fox. Some believed that Mayer would someday take over the top job at Disney, but when Iger announced his successor in February, it wasn’t Mayer who got the nod — instead, it was Chapek, who was formerly head of Disney’s theme parks.
In his new role at TikTok, Mayer will have the tough job of shepherding one of the most popular apps around and keeping it competitive against other social media giants like Facebook and Snapchat. “I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to join the amazing team at ByteDance,” Mayer said in a statement. “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.”