Key TikTok executive steps down
TikTok is losing one of its most prominent leaders. Chief Operating Officer V Pappas is resigning from the social media firm, an internal memo Pappas posted on LinkedInconfirms. The YouTube veteran, who is nonbinary, says they will “refocus on my entrepreneurial passions” now that TikTok has become a household name. Pappas was one of TikTok’s most visible representatives in the U.S., championing the ByteDance-owned platform’s content creators even as scrutiny of its data practices and ties to the Chinese government has grown.
- Chief of Staff Adam Presser will take over operations, The Information reports. Disney veteran Zenia Mucha will join as chief brand and communications officer.
By Saundra Latham, Editor at LinkedIn News
Adam Presser, the company’s chief of staff, will become head of operations. Zenia Mucha, former head of communications at Walt Disney Co., is joining as chief brand and communications officer, a new position.
Pappas has been the longtime public face for TikTok in the US as the company has tried to fend off a ban under two presidential administrations. The COO represented the company at a Senate hearing in September as the most recent wave of criticism ramped up. Pappas will continue as a strategic adviser.
TikTok, a division of China’s ByteDance Ltd., has risen to become one of the most popular social media apps in the world on the strength of user-generated, short-form videos. Given its Chinese ownership, the product has raised concerns among both Republicans and Democrats that the government there may use it to gather intelligence about US citizens.
TikTok has denied any influence from the Chinese Communist Party. Pappas unveiled a plan called Project Texas, where TikTok said it’s walling off US user data and housing it on the servers of American tech company Oracle Corp.
While public scrutiny of the company has cooled as Congress has dealt with issues like the debt ceiling debates, there are still multiple bills proposed that could ban the app, as well as an ongoing federal national security review.