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TikTok names ByteDance’s Shouzi Chew as new CEO

TikTok on Friday named ByteDance CFO Shouzi Chew as its CEO, and Vanessa Pappas, who has served as interim head of the company, as the video-sharing platform’s COO.

Why it matters: TikTok’s former CEO Kevin Mayer resigned amid heightened tensions between the Chinese-owned company and the Trump administration, which ordered TikTok to sell its U.S. operations to a domestic buyer over security fears.

Context: The Trump administration’s threat against TikTok hit a wall with the election of President Biden.

  • The Biden administration paused negotiations with ByteDance about spinning out TikTok’s U.S. operations into an independent entity.
  • Friday’s CEO announcement seems to suggest ByteDance no longer thinks there’s much chance it will need to spin off its U.S. business, Axios’ Dan Primack notes.

What they’re saying: “The leadership team of Shou and Vanessa sets the stage for sustained growth,” Yiming Zhang, founder and CEO of ByteDance — the developer of TikTok — said in a statement Friday.

  • “Shou brings deep knowledge of the company and industry, having led a team that was among our earliest investors, and having worked in the technology sector for a decade. He will add depth to the team, focusing on areas including corporate governance and long-term business initiatives.”