In a significant development, TikTok CEO Kevin Mayer has quit the company amid the ongoing dispute with the Donald Trump administration and sale talks in the US and the India ban.
Less than six months into the job, Mayer announced his departure in an internal email seen first by the Financial Times on Thursday.
The report said that TikTok’s general manager Vanessa Pappas will take over as an interim CEO.
“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,” a TikTok spokesperson said in a statement to The Verge.
“We thank him for his time at the company and wish him well.”
Mayer’s departure comes as TikTok has filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration over an executive order banning any US transactions with its parent company ByteDance.
Mayer said in the internal letter: “In recent weeks, as the political environment has sharply changed, I have done significant reflection on what the corporate structural changes will require, and what it means for the global role I signed up for”.
“Against this backdrop, and as we expect to reach a resolution very soon, it is with a heavy heart that I wanted to let you all know that I have decided to leave the company”.
Mayer joined TikTok in May, leaving his position as head of direct-to-consumer content at Disney where he oversaw the launch of Disney Plus.
Nearly 100 million Americans turn to TikTok for entertainment, inspiration, and connection and countless creators rely on its platform to express their creativity, reach broad audiences, and generate income.
President Trump filed an executive order on August 6, prohibiting ByteDance from doing any transaction in the US for 45 days.
Trump issued another executive order on August 14, giving ByteDance an option to divest its TikTok business in the US within 90 days.
TikTok has filed the lawsuit against the first executive order.
“The executive order seeks to ban TikTok purportedly because of the speculative possibility that the application could be manipulated by the Chinese government,” TikTok said in its lawsuit.