Kevin Mayer is out at Disney+. The Disney executive — once heralded as a potential successor to Bob Iger —has left the company to become chief executive of TikTok. Months after the launch of the Disney-owned service — one that has performed far better than the company expected — Mayer is now in charge of the world's fastest-growing social media app, largely thanks in part to those suffering from boredom while quarantined inside. In addition to being CEO for TikTok, Mayer will also serve as chief operating officer of ByteDance, the Chinese company that owns the service.
The New York Times first broke the news, which Disney then confirmed in a statement. “Kevin has had an extraordinary impact on our company over the years,” Disney CEO Bob Chapek said. “Having worked alongside Kevin for many years on the senior management team, I am enormously grateful to him for his support and friendship.”
Chapek took over for Iger this February after the long-time chief stepped down to put his sole focus on the company's creative output. Though Chapek had been a tenured parks executive at the time, many insiders expected Mayer to be primed to be Iger's replacement due to his role in Disney's increasing digital efforts. Mayer's Disney+ role saw him oversaw the House of Mouse's Director-to-Consumer & International division. Prior to that, he was the company's chief strategy officer in played pivotal roles in helping Disney acquire Marvel, Lucasfilm, Pixar, and the vast majority of 21st Century Fox.
In April, Mayer and the company celebrated crossing 50 million subscribers on Disney+. A celebration, as it turns out, that was much more short-lived than most thought. “We’re truly humbled that Disney+ is resonating with millions around the globe, and believe this bodes well for our continued expansion throughout Western Europe and into Japan and all of Latin America later this year," Mayer said in a statement at the time. "Great storytelling inspires and uplifts, and we are in the fortunate position of being able to deliver a vast array of great entertainment rooted in joy and optimism on Disney+.”
Disney has since named Rebecca Campbell as Mayer's successor. Campbell had been serving as the president of Disneyland Resort at the time of the reshuffling.
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