Pawel Kaminski/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images
  • Kevin Mayer resigned as chief executive of TikTok just months after joining the company.
  • Mayer announced his departure in a letter to employees at TikTok and its parent company ByteDance.
  • "In recent weeks, as the political environment has sharply changed, 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," Mayer wrote in the letter, which was obtained by Business Insider.
  • Mayer joined TikTok in May as CEO and served as COO of ByteDance. He was formerly the head of streaming services at Disney.
  • For more articles, go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.


Kevin Mayer resigned as chief executive of the popular short video app TikTok amid mounting pressure from President Donald Trump's administration to ban the Chinese-owned app from the United States.

Mayer announced his departure from the company in an internal letter to employees at TikTok and its parent company ByteDance, which was obtained by Business Insider.

"In recent weeks, as the political environment has sharply changed, 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," Mayer wrote in the letter.

"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."

Mayer joined TikTok in May as CEO and served as COO of its parent company ByteDance. He was formerly the head of streaming services at Disney.

Mayer clarified in the letter that his "decision has nothing to do with the company, what I see for our future, or the belief I have in what we are building," adding that ByteDance CEO Zhang Yiming "understands my decision and I thank him for his support on this."

The former TikTok CEO said he doesn't foresee the change in executive leadership impacting the "vast majority of work" at the company, nor will it impact the experience of app users, Mayer wrote.

The news of Mayer's departure was first reported by the Financial Times. Vanessa Pappas, general manager of TikTok, will take over as interim chief in Mayer's absence, according to the report.

A spokesperson for TikTok wrote in an emailed statement to Business Insider that the company thanks Mayer "for his time at the company and wish[es] him well."

"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," the spokesperson wrote in a statement.

Mayer's departure from TikTok comes after Trump and several members of his administration have repeatedly pushed to ban the app from the US, citing security concerns. Tech giant Microsoft is looking to acquire the US operations of the app amid scrutiny of the app's privacy and its ties to China.

After the president issued two executive orders aimed at banning TikTok, the company filed a suit against Trump's administration last week over an executive order that would ban "any transactions" between Americans and ByteDance beginning in September.

Tyler Sonnemaker contributed to this report

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