TikTok CEO quits amid Trump threat

Kevin Mayer, TikTok CEO has quit as the Chinese-owned video sharing app in the aftermath of the bitter backlash from President Donald Trump.

“In recent weeks, as the political environment has sharply changed, I have done significant reflection on what the corporate structural changes will require, and what it means for the global role I signed up for,” Mayer said in a memo to employees that was obtained by CNN Business.

“Against this backdrop, and as we expect to reach a resolution very soon, it is with a heavy heart that I wanted to let you all know that I have decided to leave the company.”

Mayer, a former top Disney executive, was hire to run TikTok less than four months ago.

But the Chinese-owned app has come under fire from the US government, and Trump has threatened to ban the app if it isn’t sold by ByteDance.

“We appreciate that the political dynamics of the last few months have significantly changed what the scope of Kevin’s role would be going forward, and fully respect his decision,” a TikTok spokesperson said in a statement.

According to Trump’s executive orders, TikTok poses a national security threat because the app collects a lot of data on users, which “threatens to allow the Chinese Communist Party access to Americans’ personal and proprietary information.”

TikTok has 100 million users in the United States. The company has explored selling its US business, which industry experts say is worth between $40 billion and $50 billion, to Microsoft and reportedly to Oracle as well.

Microsoft said it is exploring a deal to buy TikTok’s operations in Canada, Australia and New Zealand, as well as the US business.

Meanwhile, Vanessa Pappas, the former YouTube executive who joined TikTok last year to become general manager of North America, Australia and New Zealand, will serve as interim head for TikTok globally, according to Mayer’s memo.

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