TikTok loses its CEO, thanks to a completely uncertain context in which the parent company ByteDance found itself after the Trump administration effectively ousted it from the American market. Kevin Mayer (US) leaves the company, and he does so by communicating his decision with a message sent to his employees:
It is reluctantly that I wanted to let you know that I have decided to leave the company. (…) The political environment has changed drastically.
ByteDance acknowledges: "We understand that the political dynamics of recent months have significantly changed the scope of Kevin's role and we fully respect his decision."said a spokesperson. Mayer had become CEO in May after a stint at Disney, finding himself having to manage the company in the midst of the health crisis due to the pandemic and catapulted into a sudden – but otherwise predictable, see the Huawei ban. – US-China cold war, of which TikTok itself represents one of the most striking cases. Vanessa Pappas, current General Manager with a background in Google, will hold the role of interim CEO.
At this point one wonders why Mayer has left the leadership of Chinese society: pressure from the White House? Differences of views on how to get out of the crisis? A recall from Beijing? Or the difficulty in being able to meet the deadlines for a sale, perhaps to the publicly interested Microsoft, Oracle or Google, added when TikTok decided to bring the US government to court?
The situation for the platform is becoming more and more complicated: time is running out to avoid collapse, and there is also an awareness that the competition is pressing for the ban to be effectively put into practice. In fact, putting TikTok in crisis would mean shuffling the cards on the market table, hunting down those 700 million active users who populate the Chinese social network every month. Oro, for Facebook & C.