TikTok CEO resigns after just four months on the job

Kevin Mayer cited the US government’s potential ban as a reason for his quick exit

Former Disney executive Kevin Mayer, who became the CEO of TikTok four months ago, is calling it quits due to the US government’s push against the app’s China-based parent company, ByteDance. 

Mayer said in a memo to TikTok employees: "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," according to CNN Business.

He continued: "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."

After rocketing in popularity in recent years, it ran into privacy concerns due to its parent company being based in China, which is known for prying into private data. Despite its attempts to brush off the privacy fears by ensuring users and government agencies its servers aren’t in China and don’t fall under Chinese rules, numerous companies banned the app on corporate devices. 

TikTok’s struggles reached a peak when President Donald Trump signed an executive order essentially banning TikTok and WeChat, a China-connected messaging app, starting Sept. 20. The only way out of the US ban is for ByteDance to sell the U.S. TikTik business to another company or investors outside China. 

Interest in the social media app has been relatively high, as Microsoft, Twitter and Oracle have expressed interest. But Trump’s demand that the U.S. receives a cut in any sale to an American company may throw cold water on any deals. Current ByteDance investors are also considering a buyout, as they explore ways to sell their stake in ByteDance and buy a stake in TikTok. 

There is no official word on whether Mayer’s exit is immediate or if he’ll leave later. 

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