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CHINA BRIEF | ByteDance hires ex-Disney executive as new TikTok CEO

The 58-year-old businessman will also serve as chief operating officer of ByteDance.

china brief entertainment

ByteDance has named Kevin Mayer, former Disney’s head of streaming, as the company’s short-video app TikTok new CEO, effective from June 1, according to an official statement released on Monday by the firm.

Before joining ByteDance, Mayer lead the rollout of Disney’s streaming service Disney Plus, which has now about 55 million subscribers. Previously, he served as Disney’s chief strategy officer (NYSE:DIS), where he collaborated in the business acquisitions of Pixar and Marvel, among other companies, according to The New York Times.

The 58-year-old businessman will also serve as chief operating officer of ByteDance, while Alex Zhu, current president of TikTok, will oversee strategy and product design as ByteDance’s vice president of Product & Strategy.

“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,” said Mayer, according to the press release.

TikTok and its Chinese version Douyin, combined, have been downloaded more than two billion times, KrASIA reported in April, citing San Francisco-based marketing intelligence platform Sensor Tower.

This article is part of KrASIA’s “China Brief” section, where KrASIA’s reporters will provide quick daily updates about the tech ecosystem in China.