Every few months, there’s news that ByteDance might go public. Or maybe it’s Douyin. Perhaps just TikTok. New appointments and reorganization fuel this speculation, with new guesses about the company’s valuation.
That conjecture was renewed one month ago when Julie Gao, a veteran corporate attorney and rainmaker for Chinese companies eyeing IPOs in the US, was appointed as ByteDance’s CFO. History rhymes—when Shou Zi Chew was appointed to the same post in March 2021, people drew similar conclusions.
Gao stepped into her new position with an existing working relationship with ByteDance. She was a legal advisor for two of the company’s significant acquisitions—short video service Musical.ly in 2017 and game studio Moonton Technology in 2021.
Gao has participated in interviews in the past, but a commencement speech that she gave at Peking University Law School in 2018 may be most revealing about her work ethic. Gao said that she hasn’t ever spent more than 24 hours away from her laptop and Blackberry, even when she was on maternity leave.
One of our recent entries in KrASIA Connection dives into the background of Julie Gao. Check it out here.
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