News September 14, 2020

Former MTV Australia boss Simon Bates joins TikTok

Former Assistant Editor
Former MTV Australia boss Simon Bates joins TikTok

TikTok’s Australian expansion continues, with the social video platform bringing in some big names to fill key roles in the local market.

Simon Bates, former VP head of MTV APAC, comes on board as the director of content programming.

He departed MTV when Foxtel axed its home-grown music channels earlier this year, and will now be responsible for leading programming, promotion and curation of TikTok content in Australia.

Also joining the team is Felicity McVay, who previously held roles at Fremantle Media, YouTube and Google.

She is now director of content partnerships for Australia and New Zealand, and will oversee the platform’s content and and community ecosystem.

The pair join TikTok shortly after it announced ex-triple j content director Ollie Wards as its director of music for Australia. Its Sydney office opened in June.

“Each appointment is strategic by nature, to ensure we can continue to grow and nurture the amazing content from our Aussie and Kiwi TikTok community,” Lee Hunter, GM of TikTok AUNZ content and operation, said of the two new appointments.

“Our new leaders bring a wealth of expertise in celebrating creativity, culture and diversity and I’m looking forward to further building the team out to support them in embedding TikTok at the heart of local culture.”

TikTok also welcomed Lucy Chesterton, formerly of Yahoo and Pacific Magazines, as communities and education lead, and former YouTube exec Delia Deng as creator growth and partnerships lead.

Chesterton and Deng will join McVay’s new partnerships team.

“TikTok has dramatically changed the short-form video space,” McVay said.

“It’s generated new memes, disrupted pop culture and catapulted new talent into our everyday and I was determined to not miss out on that journey.

“I’m super excited to work with local creators on the platform to develop their content to reach new audiences. We have some really talented, distinctive creators in Australia and New Zealand and my team is focused on ensuring that they are seen and heard on the world stage.”

TikTok is expected to continue to grow and announce more additions to its local operations, with the platform still recruiting for 20 positions just a few weeks ago.

Shortly after appointing Aussie Vanessa Pappas as its new global CEO, TikTok has reportedly sold its US operations to Oracle, after rejecting a bid from Microsoft.

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