Disney announced that Kevin Mayer will be resigning from his position as head of streaming at Disney to become the CEO of video app, Tiktok, and COO of Tiktok Owner’s, Bytedance. “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 in a statement. “Having worked alongside Kevin for many years on the senior management team, I am enormously grateful to him for his support and friendship.”
Bytedance’s press release noted that Mayer will be responsible for overseeing the company’s global development, as well as corporate functions, including corporate development, sales, marketing, public affairs, security, moderation, and legal matters. As COO, he will lead music, gaming, Helo, emerging businesses. His tasks as CEO of TikTok include leading the platform as it continues to experience rapid growth and continue building its global community of creators, users, and brands. He begins his duties at ByteDance on 1st June.
Mayer joined Disney in 1993 and left to become head of Playboy.com in 2000. He returned to Disney and worked on Go.com, an unsuccessful portal, along with other Disney websites, including ESPN.com. His most significant accomplishment at Disney was leading the development and launch of Disney Plus. The company’s streaming service that launched in November and reached 50 million subscribers by April. He also helped coordinate Disney’s four major acquisitions alongside former CEO, Bob Iger; Pixar, Lucasfilm, Marvel Studios, and 21st Century Fox.
Although there was a logical belief that Mayer would eventually be in charge of the top job in the company, Iger announced it would be Chapek who would become head of the company. Mayer’s job at Disney will be taken over by Rebecca Campbell, who was named Chairman of Disney’s Direct-to-Consumer Efforts. The former President of Disneyland Resort’s experience grew during her time overseeing Disneyland, California Adventure, three of the company’s resort hotels, and Downtown Disney. Disney announced that Josh D’Amaro would now become Chairman of Disney’s parks, experiences, and products.
Despite the transition, Mayer stated he wasn’t in a rush to leave as he enjoys working on streaming services like Disney Plus. The app will soon be introduced in parts of Asia and Latin America this year. Hulu, which has about 30 million subscribers, the leading streaming service in India, Hotstar, have also received contributions from Mayer. According to app data firm, Sensor Tower, Tiktok, a Chinese-owner app used to make and share short videos, already had massive popularity, but accelerated during the pandemic. The app has been downloaded about 1.9 billion times worldwide, including 172 million downloads in the U.S.. During the first quarter of this year, it received 307 million downloaded, beyond any other app in the world. “Like everyone else, I’ve been impressed watching the company build something incredibly rare in TikTok, a creative, positive online global community, and 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,” Mayer said.
Kevin has had an extraordinary impact on our company over the years, most recently as Head of our Direct-to-consumer business. Having worked alongside Kevin for many years on the senior management team, I am enormously grateful to him for his support and friendship.” CEO of Disney Bob Chapek