Kevin Mayer, the executive who oversaw the launch of Disney’s streaming service, is leaving the Mouse House to become the chief executive officer of popular social media app TikTok.
Mayer is joining TikTok at a time of increased scrutiny over the viral video app, which is owned by Chinese conglomerate ByteDance.
Popular for its short often quirky videos, the three-year-old app has been downloaded 2 billion times, according to research firm Sensor Tower. It has also been a target of government officials skeptical of its ties to China, many of whom have demanded that it not be used by government agencies, including the US Army, which had been using it for recruiting purposes.
Mayer also will serve as COO of ByteDance.
Mayer’s departure comes just three months after he was passed over to succeed longtime Disney CEO Bob Iger. When Disney announced on Feb. 25 that Iger would handing the reins of the Mouse House to the head of its parks unit, Bob Chapek, Mayer had not yet been informed that he was out of the running, sources said.
Disney said Monday that it will replace Mayer with Rebecca Campbell, a 23-year Disney veteran, who has held leadership roles across the company’s media and international and parks businesses. Campbell, who most recently served as president of Disneyland Resort, will report directly to Chapek.
Campbell will oversee the firm’s burgeoning streaming video businesses globally, including Disney+ — which this month said it landed 54.5 million paid subscribers less than six months after its launch —as well as ESPN+, Hulu and Hotstar, a popular streaming service in India.