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‘A heavy hitter’: How Kevin Mayer gives TikTok an aggressive leader to break into the big leagues

Digiday 22 May 2020 04:01
May 22, 2020 by Tim Peterson

Kevin Mayer has already put TikTok’s business in a better position. After news broke that the longtime Disney executive had been appointed CEO of TikTok and COO of the popular mobile app’s parent company ByteDance, an agency executive emailed the announcement to a client who had expressed interest in advertising on TikTok but was wary about the platform’s suitability.

“It provides confidence that a serious player in the business world has decided to change his career and go over to this brand,” said one brand executive.

Call it the Disney halo. Having spent over two decades inside the House of Mouse and most recently having overseen the successful launch of Disney+, the 58-year-old Mayer brings industry credibility to TikTok at a time when the app is looking to break into the top echelon of tech platforms. A former college football player at MIT with an MBA from Harvard, the Bethesda, Maryland, native also carries with him a more aggressive approach to doing business that helped to transform Disney’s business for the streaming era and is suited to the tech industry’s breakneck pace.

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