Photo: Jesse Grant/Getty Images for Disney

Kevin Mayer, a Disney veteran who oversaw the company's streaming unit and the launch of Disney+, is leaving the company after 27 years to become the CEO of TikTok, Disney announced Monday.

Why it matters: Mayer will take over as head of TikTok at a pivotal time for the Chinese-owned social networking company. Owned by ByteDance, one of the fastest-growing Chinese tech giants, TikTok has become a formidable social media company over the past year, accruing hundreds of millions of users worldwide.

  • The company's biggest threat to date is regulatory scrutiny, particularly around the way it stores and uses user data.
  • In his new role, Mayer will also serve as COO of ByteDance, where he will oversee global development and corporate functions of the company like sales, marketing and public affairs.

The big picture: Disney stunned the business community in February by naming Disney Parks and Resorts chief Bob Chapek as CEO of the company, replacing longtime CEO Bob Iger. It was unclear at the time what would become of Mayer, who was long considered a favorite of Iger's, after the transition.

Details: In a statement out Monday, Disney says that Rebecca Campbell, a Disney veteran who most recently served as president of Disneyland Resort, has been named chairman of Disney's direct-to-consumer and international division, replacing Mayer.

  • The company also announced that Josh D’Amaro, formerly the president of Walt Disney World Resort, has also been named chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products, replacing Chapek.
  • Both leaders will report to Chapek.

This story is breaking news. Please check back for updates.

Go deeper

There's little consensus on TikTok's specific national security threat

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

TikTok has become a Rorschach test for how U.S. politicians view China, with little consensus on the specifics of its threat to homeland security.

The big picture: Much of what D.C. fears about TikTok is fear itself, and that's reflected in President Trump's executive order to ban the app by Sept. 20 if it's not sold by parent company ByteDance — alongside another focused on Chinese messaging app WeChat and its parent company Tencent.

Aug 7, 2020 - Technology

TikTok responds to Trump executive order: "We are shocked"

Photo: Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images

TikTok said Friday that it was "shocked" by President Trump's executive order that will ban Americans from dealing with ByteDance, its China-based owner, in 45 days.

Why it matters: TikTok argued that Trump's move "risks undermining global businesses' trust in the United States' commitment to the rule of law, which has served as a magnet for investment and spurred decades of American economic growth."

Trump's TikTok and WeChat actions ratchet up the pressure on China

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

President Trump escalated his campaign to claw apart the Chinese and American tech worlds Thursday evening, issuing executive orders that threaten to ban both TikTok and massive global messaging app WeChat.

The big picture: Trump's orders come against a backdrop of heightening tension with China, the steady unfolding of a hard "decoupling" between the world's two largest economies, and the Trump campaign's effort to wave a "tough on China" banner.