The group announced on Monday that Kevin Mayer, Former Disney executive, will become the head of TikTok and chief operating officer of the popular video app’s parent company.
Mayer’s surprise jump from one of the entertainment industry’s most venerable companies is another victory for buzzy upstart TikTok, which has seen a surge in popularity among people locked down during the coronavirus pandemic.
Mayer headed Disney’s direct-to-consumer offerings, where he oversaw the successful rollout of Disney+ television streaming service.
According to the business, his new realm will include TikTok and global development at the app’s parent company, Beijing-based ByteDance.
Zhang said in a release that “Kevin’s wealth of experience building successful global businesses makes him an outstanding fit for our mission of inspiring creativity for users globally.”
According to ByteDance, Mayer’s job at Disney included managing ESPN+, Hulu, and Hotstar operations on the direct-to-consumer platform.
Mayer said in the release that “I’m excited to help lead the next phase of ByteDance’s journey.”
ByteDance owns TikTok, whose kaleidoscopic feeds of 15 to 60-second video clips feature everything from hair-dye tutorials to dance routines and jokes about daily life.
According to US-based research agency SensorTower, since launching in 2017, TikTok has been downloaded more than two billion times.
The platform, already a favorite of teens, has frequently been used by adults looking for ways to pass the time during the coronavirus lockdowns.
According to SensorTower, TikTok saw 65 million worldwide downloads in March alone.
Marketing analysts have suggested part of the app’s popularity is due to the approachability and levity of the platform’s aesthetic.
According to the company, Kelly Zhang and Lidong Zhang will continue as chief executive and chairman, respectively, of ByteDance business in China.
They manage ByteDance products including Douyin, Toutiao, and Xigua.