Saturday, May 25, 2024

TikTok chief executive Kevin Mayer resigns after Trump call to sell US assets

Tik Tok’s chief executive, Kevin Mayer, has quit just months after his appointment. Amid a “sharply changed” political environment after Donald Trump accused the platform of threatening national security.

The Financial Times reported on Thursday that; the former Disney executive would be replaced in the interim by Vanessa Pappas, the general manager. In a letter to staff, parts of which have been seen by the Guardian; Mayer said he had decided to leave after Trump ordered TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance; to sell its US assets to a US company within 90 days.

“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,” the letter said.

“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.”

“I understand that the role that I signed up for – including running TikTok globally; will look very different as a result of the US administration’s action to push for a sell-off of the US business.”

Mayer said TikTok expected a resolution to Trump’s orders “very soon”.

TikTok said in a statement it thanked Mayer for his time and wished 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,” it said.

TikTok’s Chinese ownership has raised concern about the potential for sharing user data with Chinese officials as well as censorship of videos critical of the Chinese Communist Party government. TikTok says it does not censor videos and it would not give the Chinese government access to US user data.

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