Kevin Mayer, the head of direct-to-consumer and international division for The Walt Disney Company, is leaving the company to become CEO of TikTok. He played a pivotal role in the launch and growth of the Disney+ streaming service.
He will also become chief operating officer of TikTok parent, giant Chinese tech group ByteDance.
The decision to leave led to a number of changes at the Walt Disney Company.
Mayer was in contention succeed Bob Iger as chief executive of Disney but was passed over in favor of Bob Chapek, the former head of parks and resorts.
Mayer first joined Disney in 1993 after graduating from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard Business School. He left for a short period of time before returning in 2005, where he rose to become one of the most crucial deputies for longtime CEO Bob Iger.
He played a key role in the acquisitions that have built Disney into an entertainment colossus: Pixar Entertainment, Marvel Studios, Lucasfilm Ltd. and the entertainment assets of 21st Century Fox.
For Mayer’s new endeavors, he starts June 1, 2020 as the wildly popular mobile video platform contines to make major inroads in the U.S. among homebound videophiles. He will report to ByteDance founder-CEO Yiming Zhang and is charged with driving the global development of ByteDance, as well as overseeing corporate development, sales, marketing, public affairs, security, and legal. He will lead music, gaming and emerging businesses and oversee TikTok’s global expansion.
Rebecca Campbell, former Disneyland President, has been tapped to replace Mayer as the head of director-to-consumer and international division.