After having successfully contributed to the launch of the Disney + platform and spent the vast majority of his career in the American company, Kevin Mayer resigned from the presidency of the Direct-to-Consumer and International division, which brings together the activities of streaming and international television productions (VoD, Internet content, network of television channels), to join the firm ByteDance and take the lead in the famous TikTok application .
A strategic position at ByteDance
At the origin of the Walt Disney Company departure: probably a war of ego. Kevin Mayer, 58, was seen by many as the natural candidate for Bob Iger’s succession as president. Last February, the company’s board of directors had preferred Bob Chapek, another figure from the group then head of the Parks, Experiences and Products division. Kevin Mayer (nothing to see the tricolor world champion and Olympic vice-champion of the decathlon) finally did not digest this choice. Annoyed that he had not been chosen to take over the management of TWDC, he preferred to leave the door and accept a golden bridge in China.
Direction Beijing now for Kevin Mayer, who was appointed chief operating officer of ByteDance , the Chinese conglomerate of which he will take charge of international development and where he will oversee sales, marketing, security, moderation of content and legal Affairs. A mission ô how strategic, therefore, for a company that grows very quickly and faces some accusations of censorship . He will still work from Los Angeles, although frequent trips to Beijing are planned.
But above all, Kevin Mayer becomes the new managing director of TikTok, the mobile video sharing application developed by ByteDance, which crossed the milestone of 2 billion downloads in April (including 172 million in the United States) and has close to 1 billion monthly active users. ” Kevin is one of the most accomplished bosses in the entertainment industry in the world, so he is very well placed to take the ByteDance product portfolio to the next level ,” said founder and CEO Zhang Yiming. by ByteDance.
Scoop: Disney's head of streaming to become CEO for TikTok. Also contains news of his successor and new theme park chairman. https://t.co/poesexCtP7
— Brooks Barnes (@brooksbarnesNYT) May 18, 2020
Kevin Mayer will leave his mark at Disney
Kevin Mayer has had a particularly rich career on the other side of the Atlantic. The new boss of TikTok arrived at Disney in 1993 for a first passage which then led him to direct Playboy.com in 2000 (the hidden reason for his non-appointment as CEO of Disney?) For a few months. Finally, Mayer returned to the fold in 2005 as Executive Vice President, Corporate Strategy, Business Development and Technology.
He was one of the architects of the buyouts of the Pixar, Lucasfilm and Marvel Entertainment licenses and studios, and of the acquisition of 21 st Century Films more recently.
Since March 2018, he has held the position of President of Walt Disney Direct-to-Consumer and International, from which he greatly contributed to the birth of the Disney + video streaming platform , which today is an undeniable success with more than 50 million subscribers worldwide in the space of a few months.
Finally, note that on the Disney side, Rebecca Campbell will now hold her position. She was the president of the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, the original park. She also contributed to the launch plan of Disney + and is a real personality of the group.