Kevin Mayer, the former chair of Disney’s streaming service focused division, Direct-to-Consumer & International, has left the company for one of the hottest social media platforms on the planet right now – TikTok. Mayer will take over as COO at ByteDance which owns the short video format service.
When last we saw Kevin Mayer make headlines, it was because he was asked to return to Burbank HQ of The Walt Disney Company to mee the new CEO, Bob Chapek. Mayer was considered one of the top contenders to replace Bob Iger, so he must have felt his options for growth at the Mouse House were pretty limited now.
Still Mayer doesn’t want to be seen as burning any bridges. Mayer said the following about his former and future bosses, “On a personal note, I’m thankful to the entire Disney team for the tremendous accomplishments we achieved together. I’m especially grateful to Bob Iger for his visionary leadership and mentorship over many years, and to Bob Chapek whom I greatly admire. As I begin a new chapter, I’m humbled by the trust Yiming and the Board have placed in me as we move forward with a shared vision of how to scale ByteDance’s growth.”
Mayer built Disney+ into a 50 million subscriber base in about 1/3rd of the time the company originally estimated. It’s a good thing too as it’s one of the few divisions that is a bright spot during the global health emergency.
Now Disney+ will have to go forward without Mayer and try to overcome what are still some very big hurdles. (Disney is promoting the President of Disneyland, Rebecca Campbell, to run the streaming division, btw.)
Photo credit: Walt Disney Television/Robert Milazzo.