ByteDance: TikTok’s co-founder to step down as chief executive

The CEO and co-founder of TikTok’s owner ByteDance has announced he will step down and transition to a new role by the end of the year.

In a letter send to employees, Zhang Yiming said he will be succeeded by fellow co-founder Rubo Liang.

The move marks the biggest shake-up at the Chinese technology giant since its launch almost a decade ago.

TikTok’s popularity has helped it become a global sensation but has also drawn scrutiny.

“The truth is, I lack some of the skills that make an ideal manager. I’m more interested in analysing organizational and market principles, and leveraging these theories to further reduce management work, rather than actually managing people,” wrote Yiming in a message on the company’s website.

“Similarly, I’m not very social, preferring solitary activities like being online, reading, listening to music, and contemplating what may be possible,” he added.

He said his successor Liang has been “an invaluable partner,” developing the firm’s technology as well as hiring and managing employees.

Liang’s most recent role at ByteDance was head of the company’s human resources department.

The letter also stated that the change in leadership will take place over the next six months to ensure a smooth transition.

 

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