Major changes are happening at The Walt Disney Company as Chairman of Direct-to-Consumer & International (DTCI) Kevin Mayer announces he’s exiting Disney and heading to ByteDance. Mayer will serve as Chief Operating Officer for ByteDance and will be named CEO of TikTok.
- ByteDance—owner of ultra popular mobile app TikTok— has announced that Disney’s Kevin Mayer has been named Chief Operating Officer (COO) of ByteDance, effective June 1.
- Mayer will exit his current position as Chairman of Direct-to-Consumer & International at Disney to take on the COO role at ByteDance. He will report directly to ByteDance Founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Yiming Zhang.
- In his new position with ByteDance he will oversee global development of the company, as well corporate functions including, sales, marketing, and more.
- Mayer will also lead music, gaming, Helo, emerging businesses, and will serve as CEO of TikTok.
- During his tenure at Disney, Mayer’s most recent position as Chairman of DTCI oversaw the launches of streaming platforms ESPN+ and Disney+ as well as the integration of Hulu and in India, Hotstar. His experience also includes Disney international operations, global ad sales, and global content sales.
- Disneyland Resort President Rebecca Campbell will succeed Mayer in the Direct-to-Consumer and International role at Disney.
- As for TikTok, current President Alex Zhu will transition to ByteDance VP of Product & Strategy.
- Kelly Zhang and Lidong Zhang will continue to lead the China business as CEO and Chairman of ByteDance China, respectively, reporting to Yiming Zhang, as ByteDance's global CEO.
- As part of its commitment to rooting its operations in the local markets it serves, TikTok’s national and regional leaders will remain in their roles with their current responsibilities, reporting to Mayer, who will be responsible for the global business.
What they’re saying:
- Yiming Zhang: “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."
- Kevin Mayer: "I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to join the amazing team at ByteDance. 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. On a personal note, I'm thankful to the entire Disney team for the tremendous accomplishments we achieved together. I'm especially grateful to Bob Iger for his visionary leadership and mentorship over many years, and Bob Chapek whom I greatly admire. As I begin a new chapter, I'm humbled by the trust Yiming and the board have placed in me as we move forward with a shared vision of how to scale ByteDance's growth."
- Kevin Mayer on his time at Disney and Rebecca Campbell who will take on his role: “I am very proud of what our extraordinarily talented Direct-to-Consumer and International team has accomplished in creating and delivering a world-class portfolio of streaming services, particularly Disney+. Rebecca was a critical member of the DTCI team from its inception, and I am certain the business is in great hands and will continue to expand and thrive under her expert leadership. It’s truly been a privilege for me to be part of the iconic Walt Disney Company, and I am enormously grateful to Bob Iger for his trust and confidence, and to Bob Chapek and his senior management team for their collaboration and support over the years.”
- Disney CEO Bob Chapek on Mayer: “Kevin has had an extraordinary impact on our company over the years, most recently as head of our direct-to-consumer business. “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.”