TikTok chief Kevin Mayer has quit just after four months of being the chief executive. Mayer sent out a letter to all employees announcing his decision to resign, sources reported.
Mayer told employees at TikTok and ByteDance of his decision to resign on Thursday. Vanessa Pappas, who is currently general manager of TikTok, will act as interim head, according to Mayer’s letter.
Mayer, who joined TikTok after working with Disney, made the decision to quit after US President Donald Trump ordered TikTok to be banned in the country unless its sold its US assets to an American company within 90 days.
Mayer wrote in his letter that he had reflected on what the corporate structural changes will require given the sharp change in the political environment and what it means for the global role he signed up for. Mayer went on to write that while the company is expected to arrive at a resolution soon, he’s decided to leave.
The whole face-off between the Trump administration and TikTok began weeks after Mayer officially came on board in June. People familiar with the matter said that Mayer had not anticipated the extent to which TikTok would become involved in the US-China tensions as the Trump administration and regulators raised concerns about data privacy and national security.
A person in the know told that Mayer has not “signed up for this”. One person who is familiar with Mayer’s stint at Disney told sources that Mayer put himself in a sensitive political zone and that he would have to align himself with both his Chinese masters and public scrutiny in the US.
Earlier this month Trump said that his administration had credible evidence that ByteDance might take action to hurt US security.