ByteDance CFO Shouzi Chew named as TikTok’s new CEO

Photo credit: Olivier Bergeron

TikTok has named Singapore-based Shouzi Chew, the CFO of parent company ByteDance, as its new CEO.

In addition, as part of what TikTok calls a “strategic reorganization”, Vanessa Pappas, who has served as Interim Head of TikTok since August 2020, will take on the role of TikTok COO, continuing with her current responsibilities. 

TikTok’s leadership shakeup follows the departure in August of former TikTok CEO and ByteDance COO Kevin Mayer, who resigned less than four months into the role amidst pressure from the Trump administration for TikTok to sell off its US business.

In November Mayer joined Access Industries, the majority owner of Warner Music Group, as a “senior media adviser”.

Prior to joining ByteDance earlier this year, Shouzi Chew held a number of senior roles with “global mandates in the technology and investment community,” says TikTok.

In 2013 he led a team that became one of the earliest investors in ByteDance.

Los Angeles-based Pappas joined TikTok at the end of 2018 following a long career in the video platform space, most recently at YouTube.

Last month it was reported that at the end of October, TikTok had 732 million Monthly Active Users (MAUs) around the world and over 100m MAUs in the United States.

We also learned last month that those 732m users watch the app for an average of 89 minutes per day.

“The leadership team of Shou and Vanessa sets the stage for sustained growth.”

Yiming Zhang, ByteDance

Yiming Zhang, Founder and CEO of ByteDance, said: “The leadership team of Shou and Vanessa sets the stage for sustained growth.

“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.”

Added Yiming: “Vanessa has provided strong leadership and will continue to oversee her current portfolio of responsibilities, including managing all of the platform’s key operations.”

“We will continue building out our strong and deep management team as we set the stage for the next phase of TikTok’s success.”

Shouzi Chew, TikTok 

TikTok CEO Shouzi Chew, said: “It’s humbling to be entrusted with this responsibility, and to partner with great leaders like Vanessa to drive TikTok’s unprecedented development as the global home for inspirational and creative content.

“We will continue building out our strong and deep management team as we set the stage for the next phase of TikTok’s success.”

“I’m excited to deepen my partnership with Shou, and develop an even richer TikTok platform to provide people around the world a meaningful and entertaining experience.”

Vanessa Pappas

TikTok COO Vanessa Pappas, added: “It’s truly gratifying to have the opportunity to support the most creative and inspiring community out there, and to work alongside a management team that fully believes in that community.

“I’m excited to deepen my partnership with Shou, and develop an even richer TikTok platform to provide people around the world a meaningful and entertaining experience. The TikTok journey is just beginning.”

 Music Business Worldwide