TikTok CEO Kevin Mayer quits after less than three months as US plans app ban
By Vivek Raj | Galatta | Aug 27, 2020, 02:00 pm
TikTok Chief Executive Officer Kevin Mayer resigned on Thursday, the company said in an official statement. The move from the former Disney executive comes amid US pressure for TikTok's Chinese owner, ByteDance Ltd., to sell the app, which US President Donald Trump's administration has stated is a security risk.
In a letter addressed to his employees, Meyer said the decision to quit from the company has come as the "political environment has sharply changed." The White House had earlier ordered a ban on TikTok unless its parent company company, ByteDance, divests its US operations within 90 days to an American company.
Kevin Meyer wrote, "I have done significant reflection on what the corporate structural changes will require, and what it means for the global role I signed up for,". He added, "Against this backdrop, and as we expect to reach a resolution very soon, it is with a heavy heart that I wanted to let you all know that I have decided to leave the company."
Trump had issued orders for a ban on dealings with owners of Chinese consumer apps such as TikTok and WeChat earlier this month. The US had expressed concerns against Chinese technology companies claiming they pose a threat to national security. ByteDance is at present holding discussions with Microsoft Corporation in regard to the acquisition of TikTok's US operations. TikTok thanked Mayer, who joined the company in May, saying: "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,".
TikTok was launched in 2017 by ByteDance and then acquired the video service app, Musical.ly, which had a large following in the US and Europe, and then merged both apps. TikTok garnered a large subscriber base around the world via its fun, goofy videos and ease of use. However, concerns have been raised in regard to the Chinese ownership of potential censorship of videos, including those deemed critical of the government of China, and the risk that Beijing may try to access user data.