Aussie exec Vanessa Pappas is the new global CEO of TikTok
Vanessa Pappas has been appointed as the interim global CEO of TikTok, following the overnight departure of Kevin Mayer.
Mayer departs the social platform as it faces legal action in the US by the Trump administration, with US general manager Vanessa Pappas taking on the role in the interim.
In a statement on Twitter, Pappas revealed she is “proud and humbled” to be tasked with the role.
“Our community and our team who work so hard to enable this product continue to inspire me. It’s truly amazing what we’ve accomplished in 2 years, I have no doubt what we can accomplish in this next chapter!” she said.
Incredibly proud and humbled to take the role of interim head of TikTok. Our community and our team who work so hard to enable this product continue to inspire me. It's truly amazing what we've accomplished in 2 years, I have no doubt what we can accomplish in this next chapter!
— Vanessa Pappas (@v_ness) August 27, 2020
Pappas lived in Australia until she was 20 years of age, before relocating to London for four years. She has been in the US ever since, working for various Silicon Valley tech companies.
In 2011 she was appointed as YouTube’s global head of audience development and, later, its global head of creative insights.
“Within three months, my task at YouTube was to literally write the playbook for how to build an audience,” she told Marie Claire earlier this year.
She was head-hunted by TikTok in 2018, and has been labelled as the app’s “most vocal defender” by Fortune.
Kevin Mayer departs after just three months at the company, after he reportedly told the Financial Times he “didn’t sign up for this” amid increased tensions between China and the US.
“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,” said a spokesperson for TikTok.
“We thank him for his time at the company and wish him well.”
TikTok is currently fighting back against the US government lawsuit, challenging the plans to ban it over alleged data-sharing with China
“To be clear, we far prefer constructive dialogue over litigation,” said the company in a statement.
“But with the Executive Order threatening to bring a ban on our US operations — eliminating the creation of 10,000 American jobs and irreparably harming the millions of Americans who turn to this app for entertainment, connection, and legitimate livelihoods that are vital especially during the pandemic — we simply have no choice.”
This week TikTok also revealed its user numbers for the first time.
In its court filing, the popular Chinese app said it has been downloaded 2 billion times globally by August 2020 and last month (July) had 689.1 million monthly active users (MAUs).
TikTok continues to expand its Australian operations with no such issues, appointing ex-triple j content director Ollie Wards as its inaugural head of music down under.
“When things like TikTok come along, it’s always exciting. There are revolutions in platforms and tech that you can point to once every decade, and I feel like this is one of them,” Wards told TMN this week.