Apr 30, 2021 - Technology

TikTok names ByteDance's Shouzi Chew as new CEO

Illustration of hands fighting over the Tik Tok logo.

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

TikTok on Friday named ByteDance CFO Shouzi Chew as its CEO, and Vanessa Pappas, who has served as interim head of the company, as the video-sharing platform's COO.

Why it matters: TikTok's former CEO Kevin Mayer resigned amid heightened tensions between the Chinese-owned company and the Trump administration, which ordered TikTok to sell its U.S. operations to a domestic buyer over security fears.

Context: The Trump administration's threat against TikTok hit a wall with the election of President Biden.

  • The Biden administration paused negotiations with ByteDance about spinning out TikTok's U.S. operations into an independent entity.
  • Friday's CEO announcement seems to suggest ByteDance no longer thinks there's much chance it will need to spin off its U.S. business, Axios' Dan Primack notes.

What they're saying: "The leadership team of Shou and Vanessa sets the stage for sustained growth," Yiming Zhang, founder and CEO of ByteDance — the developer of TikTok — said in a statement Friday.

  • "Shou brings deep knowledge of the company and industry, having led a team that was among our earliest investors, and having worked in the technology sector for a decade. He will add depth to the team, focusing on areas including corporate governance and long-term business initiatives."

Go deeper: TikTok will prompt users when videos are flagged as misleading

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