TikTok head Kevin Mayer resigned Wednesday, August 26 after just three months as CEO. The surprise exit comes as the November 12 deadline for President Trump’s ban approaches. In a memo to staff obtained by the Los Angeles Times, Mayer noted how his role would change dramatically were TikTok to be sold to a U.S. company, as was instructed by executive order. “I understand that the role that I signed up for — including running TikTok globally — will look very different as a result of the U.S. administration’s action to push for a sell-off of the U.S. business,” he wrote. TikTok’s general manager of the United States, Vanessa Pappas, will be interim head, per Mayer’s note. “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,” TikTok said in a statement.
A former Disney executive, Mayer was brought on in June to help legitimize the app, which has faced security concerns (among many other controversies) since its launch in 2017, when ByteDance bought and merged with the American company Music.ly. That hasn’t stopped over 91 million users from joining as of June 2020, according to docs TikTok filed in court. The company filed a lawsuit this week, calling the executive order unconstitutional. This episode of Succession just doesn’t stop.