Zhang Yiming, TikTok CEO and co-founder of ByteDance will step down as CEO and transition to a new role, the company said on Thursday.
Co-founder, Liang Rubo, who is now head of human resources, will take over as Tiktok CEO globally and Zhang will move into a key strategic role at the end of 2021.
“There are still many things that we need to improve, and I think someone else can better drive progress through areas like improved daily management. The truth is, I lack some of the skills that make an ideal manager,” Zhang said in a note to employees.
“I’m more interested in analyzing organizational and market principles, and leveraging these theories to further reduce management work, rather than actually managing people. Similarly, I’m not very social, preferring solitary activities like being online, reading, listening to music, and daydreaming about what may be possible,” he said.
ByteDance explained Zhang and Liang “will work side by side over the next six months to ensure the smoothest possible transition.”
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The move comes as result after a turbulent nine months for ByteDance dubbed a national security threat by former President Donald Trump’s administration last August and ordered to divest its TikTok business in the U.S.
This sparked a bidding war between companies including Microsoft and Oracle. TikTok is ByteDance’s wildly popular short-video app.