TikTok CEO resigns amid US pressure to sell video app

Kevin Mayer says his decision to leave comes as the political environment has sharply changed

ByteDance said on Monday that it will own 80% of TikTok Global | Photo: iStock

TikTok CEO Kevin Mayer resigned on Thursday (August 27) amid pressure from the US for the sale of the popular video app, which the White House said was a security risk.

In a letter to employees, Mayer said his decision to leave came after the political environment had sharply changed. His resigned after US President Donald Trump ordered a ban on TikTok, unless its parent company Bytedance sold its US operations to an American company within 90 days.

I have done significant reflection on what the corporate structural changes would require, and what it meant for the global role I had signed up for, he said in the letter. “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.”

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Mayer, a former Disney executive, joined TikTok as CEO in May.

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, TikTok said in a statement.