VFX Disney executive Kevin Mayer leaves the company to join TikTok

Disney executive Kevin Mayer leaves the company to join TikTok

Walt Disney Company’s streaming executive, Kevin Mayer, will leave the entertainment and theme parks giant to become the chief executive officer of TikTok. Mayer’s appointment will be effective 1 June, when he will also become a chief operating officer of ByteDance.

Under Mayer’s leadership, Disney shifted its business focus from films and television to the world of streaming. The move led to Disney+ coming out of the gates fast with more than 50 million paid subscribers in a matter of months.  Mayer’s departure comes after he wasn’t chosen to replace Bob Iger as Disney’s CEO earlier this year. That job ultimately went to Bob Chapek, who served as chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products.

TikTok, the videos creating app with special effects, has become wildly popular among teenagers. TikTok hinted in January that it was partnering with U.K.-based music rights agency Merlin to expand its musical selections. TikTok was downloaded 315 million times from January through March, according to analytics firm Sensor Tower, surpassing any other app ever for a single quarter. TikTok now has 2 billion downloads, double its total from just 15 months ago.