Disney streaming manager Kevin Mayer is slated to become chief executive officer of TikTok, TikTok announced on Monday.
Mayer will also serve as chief operating officer of ByteDance, the Chinese company that owns TikTok, effective June 1. Disney shares fell nearly 1% in trading after Monday, after the announcement after the close of trading day, up 7.15%.
It’s a huge score for TikTok, a social media platform that hosts short videos. Mayer was considered one of the best candidates to replace former Disney CEO Bob Iger before Bob Chapek was finally named managing director.
Mayer told CNBC’s Julia Boorstin on Monday that the move had nothing to do with posing as the job, but because he saw it as a good opportunity.
“I love my job, I admire Bob Chapek and Disney is a fabulous company,” he said. “When you have an opportunity like this, you don’t refuse it. I’m not getting younger and it’s such a good opportunity. But I love Disney and I had no desire to leave.”
Mayer is also leaving Disney after the successful launch of its streaming platform, Disney +, which was deployed in November and had 54.5 million subscribers as of May 4.
Mayer has earned a reputation at Disney as the company’s best product maker. He led the company’s acquisition of BAMTech, which makes the streaming technology that powers the company’s online video services.
He has also been instrumental in Disney’s acquisitions of Lucasfilm (and the Star Wars franchise), Pixar, Marvel, and 21st Century Fox over the past decade and a half.
All of these properties have boosted Disney’s content portfolio and spawned several blockbuster movies, helping Disney dominate the box office in recent years.
Disney veteran Rebecca Campbell will head to Disney streaming, the company said in a statement. Press release. Campbell is a 23-year veteran of the Disney company and has held leadership positions in Disney media, international businesses and parks. Most recently, she was President of Disneyland Resort.
“I wouldn’t have left Disney if I didn’t think it was in good hands,” said Mayer. “Rebecca – I have known her for years – she was a big part of the team at the head of Europe for Disney +. She is wonderful and will do a great job. She is a great leader and she will take the reins and move transmit seamlessly. “
TikTok has faced a thorough review of its privacy and content censorship in Asia, and American politicians have raised national security concerns. Mayer told CNBC that he has experience with digital privacy and security at Disney and that he is capable of dealing with the privacy and data challenges that TikTok faces.
“I know how to deal with these challenges and digital platforms are almost universally facing these challenges. At Disney, we had privacy considerations that we have managed well,” he said.
ByteDance, the parent company of TikTok, is said to have a private valuation of around $ 78 billion.
–Sarah Whitten of CNBC contributed to this report.