TikTok CEO Kevin Mayer quits company due to ongoing political turmoil

Vanessa Pappas — who is currently a General Manager of ByteDance's most popular international service — will take his place on an interim basis.

TikTok Chief Executive Officer Kevin Mayer has stepped down, the company said in a statement. Notably, the resignation of TikTok Chief Executive comes a few days after the company and one of its employees individually sued US President Donald Trump’s administration over his executive order banning transactions in the US.

Kevin Mayer wrote a letter to his staff wherein he stated, “It is with a heavy heart that I wanted to let you all know that I have decided to leave the company.”

Vanessa Pappas — who is currently a General Manager of ByteDance’s most popular international service — will take his place on an interim basis.

“We appreciate that the political dynamics of the last few months have significantly changed what the scope of Kevin’s role would be going forward, and fully respect his decision,” the spokeswoman said in a statement.

If anything to go by TikTok website, Kevin Mayer joined TikTok after working for many years at Disney, most recently as chairman of its direct-to-consumer and international businesses.

When he was at Disney, he oversaw the development and successful rollout of Disney+, the company’s flagship streaming service.

Meanwhile, the California-based TikTok and ByteDance have rejected what they call the White House’s position that it was a national security threat. They also said that they had taken “extraordinary measures to protect the privacy and security of TikTok’s US user data”.

Apart from this, they also termed Donald Trump’s call in his August 6 executive order for a TikTok ban in the US 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.

Donald Trump’s call of banning TikTok had escalated tensions between the U.S. and China. On Aug. 14, Trump issued an order to ByteDance to sell its U.S. assets and said the U.S. must receive a cut of the proceeds.

International companies like Microsoft Corp. and Oracle Corp. are keen to buy TikTok, which argues it poses no security threat.

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