Sat. Oct 1st, 2022
TikTok logo next to the inverted American flag.

TikTok CEO Kevin Mayer, who only started the job on June 1, is going straight back out as the company plans a sale under pressure from the White House.

“Over the past few weeks, as the political environment has changed dramatically, I’ve been thinking a lot about what the company’s structural changes will require and what this means for the global role I’ve signed up for,” Mayer wrote in a late email. mail to TikTok employees. Wednesday. “It is with a heavy heart that I want to inform you that I have decided to leave the company.”

Mayer praised the workers’ efforts, saying that “there is no doubt that the future [of TikTok] is incredibly smart.” But at the same time, he added: “I understand that the role I signed up for — including running TikTok globally — will look very different as a result of the US government’s action to push on a sale of corporate America.”

Until this spring, Mayer was one of Disney’s top executives, where he successfully led the launch of the Disney+ streaming service. In February, however, he was unexpectedly passed over to replace outgoing Disney CEO Bob Iger in favor of Bob Chapek. Three months later, he announced he would jump to TikTok, in a move that spawned dozens of stories about TikTok’s rapid growth and potential to make it big as a media force.

TikTok said in its official statement regarding Mayer’s departure: “We appreciate that the political dynamics of the past few months have significantly changed the scope of Kevin’s role and fully respect his decision.”

Not the job he applied for

While TikTok’s popularity has skyrocketed during the 2020 pandemic, the company itself is struggling with the Trump administration. Earlier this month, the White House declared the existence of TikTok — along with another Chinese app, WeChat — a national emergency and issued an executive order effectively banning it from operating in the United States.

TikTok has repeatedly denied the government’s claims that it shares US user data with China, and it filed suit Monday alleging the injunctions are unconstitutional and politically driven by an “anti-Chinese political campaign” ahead of the November election. .

President Donald Trump issued a personal ultimatum on August 3, telling TikTok it had until September 15 to sell to a US buyer if it wanted to continue operating in the United States. Microsoft publicly confirmed at the time that it was considering a way to buy TikTok’s US assets and has since been considered the top contender for a takeover.

Today, however, Walmart unexpectedly announced that it has joined forces with Microsoft to jointly enter into the deal.

Walmart wants TikTok because of its potential to integrate e-commerce and advertising, the company said. “We believe a potential relationship with Tik Tok US in partnership with Microsoft could add this important functionality and provide Walmart with an important way to reach and serve omnichannel customers and grow our third-party marketplace and advertising businesses. .”

Walmart added, “We are confident that a partnership between Walmart and Microsoft would meet both the expectations of US Tik Tok users and the concerns of US government regulators.”

Sources told CNBC that TikTok is expected to announce a sale “as soon as next week”, before Trump’s September 15 deadline, and that the transaction is expected to be worth between $20 billion and $30 billion.

By akfire1

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