Kevin Mayer was a Disney official - Damian Dovarganes / AP / SIPA

Kevin Mayer, the former head of Disney's streaming platforms (Disney +, Hulu and ESPN +), will take over the leadership of the popular social network TikTok on June 1, the Chinese group ByteDance, the parent company, announced on Monday. application. He "will report directly to Zhang Yiming, founder and CEO of ByteDance, and will be responsible for the group's international development," the statement said.

He will oversee sales, marketing, public relations, security, content moderation and legal affairs, the company said. As director of operations he will also lead "music, video games and emerging activities", in addition to TikTok.

800 million users in January

"Kevin is one of the most accomplished bosses in the entertainment industry in the world, so he is very well positioned to take ByteDance's product portfolio to the next level," said Zhang Yiming. The former Disney leaves the Enchanted Kingdom at a time when the group, whose young streaming platform Disney + has won nearly 55 million subscribers, faces the harsh reality of the pandemic, which has forced amusement parks and cinemas to be closed temporarily.

TikTok, which was already on the rise before the coronavirus, saw its popularity explode thanks to containment measures. The app had 800 million users in January (according to DataReportal), and was downloaded 65 million times in March and 56 million in April, according to the specialist site SensorTower.

In full expansion, but criticized

“I am delighted with the opportunity to join the wonderful ByteDance team. Like everyone I watched with admiration how the company built something incredibly rare with TikTok: a creative and positive global community, ”commented Kevin Mayer. But her success with the youngest also sometimes puts her in difficulty.

Several American groups defending the rights of minors and consumers announced last week that they would sue the social network for non-compliance with a decision on the protection of the privacy of children under the age of 13. In particular, they believe that TikTok continues to collect personal information about minors without notifying or requesting parental consent.


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