Kevin Mayer, who was the chief executive of TikTok,announced on Wednesday, August 26, 2020, his resignation from the company, less than 48 hours after TikTok confirmed it will sue the Trump Administration over U.S ban.
“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,” Mayer said in a memo to employees. “It is with a heavy heart that I wanted to let you all know that I have decided to leave the company.”
The news of his resignation, comes following the recent ban, where an executive order issued on August 6, directed the Secretary of Commerce to come up with a list of transactions involving ByteDance and its holdings that should be banned after 45 days.
This has led to the widely speculated discourse that the former Disney executive, who joined TikTok as CEO just about 100 days ago, is resigning amidst pressure from Trump’s administration.
It was also reported that Mayer “did not anticipate the extent to which TikTok would become involved in tensions between China and the U.S,” and the executive “didn’t sign up for this.”
A message which TikTok shared and also reported by Mayer, however reads: “I want to be clear that this decision has nothing to do with the company, what I see for our future, or the belief I have in what we are building.”
“I understand that the role that I signed up for — including running TikTok globally — will look very different as a result of the US Administration’s action to push for a selloff of the U.S business.”
A TikTok spokesperson also responded to the resignation saying: “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. We thank him for his time at the company and wish him well”.
This comes against the widely considered power move backdrop of the Trump’s administration commitment effort to purge what it deems “untrusted” Chinese apps from U.S. digital networks, as well as the reports by the President to support an effort by Microsoft to buy the company’s American operations if the U.S. government got a “substantial portion” of the proceeds.
Currently, Vanessa Pappas who is currently the general manager of TikTok will reportedly become the interim manager of the company.