Kevin Mayer is leaving his role as Disney’s head of streaming to become the new CEO of the latest social media behemoth, TikTok. It’s an interesting switch, at a time when both companies are enjoying the limelight.
Mayer will also be COO of TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance. The move will take the top-flight exec away from the hugely popular streaming service, Disney Plus – which he helped to launch – and into the world of social media.
The move is likely to interest some on-lookers, as it could be viewed as showing Mayer having doubts in the Disney Plus project. The streaming service has got off to a hugely successful start, with The Mandalorian making a particularly notable impression on pop-culture last year. However, it’s going up against some huge competition in the likes of Netflix and Amazon Prime, both of which have been piling resources into new programming and launching their own successful new shows.
“Kevin has had an extraordinary impact on our company over the years, most recently as head of our direct-to-consumer business,” said Disney CEO, Bob Chapek. “He has done a masterful job of overseeing and growing our portfolio of streaming services while bringing together the creative and technological assets required to launch the hugely successful Disney+ globally. Having worked alongside Kevin for many years on the senior management team, I am enormously grateful to him for his support and friendship and wish him tremendous success going forward.”
Byte Dance founder and CEO, Yiming Zhang, said: “Kevin’s wealth of experience building successful global businesses makes him an outstanding fit for our mission of inspiring creativity for users globally. As one of the world’s most accomplished entertainment executives, Kevin is incredibly well placed to take ByteDance’s portfolio of products to the next level. I look forward to working very closely with Kevin on our global development and the next chapter of the ByteDance story.”