The head of Disney’s streaming service Kevin Mayer has resigned from The Walt Disney Company. He will be taking on the role of chief executive for TikTok, an app for making and sharing short videos that has become incredibly popular during the COVID-19 pandemic.
On top of taking over as chief executive for TikTok, Mayer will also become the chief operating officer of ByteDance, the Chinese company that owns TikTok. Since March, TikTok has been downloaded in the United States 11 million times. The United States government does have concerns about TikTok sharing user data with its Chinese parent company.
The departure of Kevin Mayer is not a complete surprise. He was recently passed up at The Walt Disney Company for the CEO position with Bob Chapek getting the role instead.
“Kevin has had an extraordinary impact on our company over the years,” Chapek said in a statement. “Having worked alongside Kevin for many years on the senior management team, I am enormously grateful to him for his support and friendship.”
For the past two years, Mayer has been the chairman of Direct-to-Consumer & International for Disney. There he has overseen the launching of Disney+, Hulu, and all of Disney’s other media properties including both ABC and ESPN. Prior to that, Mayer was known for helping bring together many of Disney’s big deals. He was the chief strategic officer for the company and helped Disney purchase Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm, and 21st Century Fox.
Today, Disney named Rebecca Campbell as his successor. This was announced along with many other new leadership posts being filled.