Disney’s head of streaming Kevin Mayer is stepping down to become the boss of social media platform TikTok.
At Disney, Mr Mayer oversaw the successful launch of the firm’s streaming service, Disney Plus in November of 2019. The service had over 54 million subscribers by May. He also managed the firm’s other streaming investments including Hulu, Hotstar, and sports streaming services ESPN plus. He was also considered a key figure in the company’s acquisitions of Lucasfilm, Pixar and Marvel.
Before Disney’s former chief executive Bob Iger stepped down from that role in February, Mr Mayer was viewed as a possible candidate to replace him. However, the role was given to Bob Chapek, head of parks, experiences and products.
Mr Mayer will be joining ByteDance on 1 June. He has been named the chief executive officer of TikTok and chief operating officer of ByteDance, the platform’s Chinese parent company.
TikTok, an app where users post short videos, has seen an explosion of growth since its US launch. But that increased popularity has led to scrutiny by the US government over its ties to China.
Mr Mayer will be responsible for ByteDance’s “global development” including emerging business, gaming and music.
“I’m excited to help lead the next phase of ByteDance’s journey as the company continues to expand its breadth of products across every region of the world,” Mr Mayer said in the release.
He will be the first CEO of TikTok.