How Disney Exec Kevin Mayer Went From Disney+ To Troubled TikTok
Earlier this year, we here at MickeyBlog covered the management shake-up at the Walt Disney Company. In what now seems like ages ago, Bob Iger, surprisingly announced that he was stepping down as CEO in February which coincided with the announcement that Bob Chapek would be taking over the reins.
Not long after, we got further news that Kevin Mayer, who as an executive at Disney played a pivotal role in the launch of the Disney+ streaming network had jumped ship for a CEO role over at TikTok. It was rumored that his departure was due to the fact that Mayer had missed out on the CEO job despite Disney+’s phenomenal success with impressive subscriber numbers at the end of 2019. With the top spot given to Chapek, it was felt that Mayer was moving on to greener pastures.
However, that those greener pastures refer to TikTok which has been increasingly in the news as of late and which faces an uncertain future, has meant that the story of Mayer’s far from fairy-tale ending (CNN’s words) means that he’s been in the news cycle alot lately!
As CNN tells us, when Mayer was originally hired to oversee TikTok it was hoped that his tenure at Disney and what he was bringing to the company could help improve the app’s credentials in America particularly when it comes to US regulators.
However, at the moment, it doesn’t seem to be working. On Friday, President Donald Trump took aim at the Chinese-owned short form video app saying that he will ban it from operating in the United States. CNN called this, “just another startling development in Mayer’s whirlwind tenure so far as TikTok’s CEO.”
As Jeffrey Cole director of USC’s Annenberg Center explained to CNN business, “In a few months, he (Mayer) went from launching one of the most important streaming services in a long time and looking like the most likely heir to [former CEO] Bob Iger at Disney to a guy fighting to keep his company alive from the President of the United States.”
At the time that Mayer decided to make the move to TikTok, it almost made sense for him to jump. He was able to assume a role he was turned over for at Walt Disney Company – CEO while moving to a company that was offering a platform that was on the rise. For those unfamiliar TikTok is associated with memes, music, choreography etc. It became a cultural force in 2019 and rivaled larger social networks like Facebook. The app now reaches over 100 million people in the US alone!
As CNN explains, brining Mayer aboard of this China-based company was a way to give the TikTok brand a figurehead that could liaise with US lawmakers who believed that the app poses a threat to national security. In the mere months since Mayer has been on board, TikTok has used the fact that they have an American CEO at the helm to try to silence critics.
However, as Trump continues to target the company it doesn’t look as if this new angle is working. Just before the weekend, Trump took to the airwaves to suggest that he may use an executive order to ban TikTok. However, the plan as of going to print remains vague and there are seemingly a lot of legal hurdles that would be in the way.
In addition, this news came amidst rumors that Microsoft may be considering a buyout of TikTok. So did Mayer make a good move in leaving Disney behind? At the moment it is simply too early to tell. One the one hand, TikTok remains extremely popular while Disney finds itself has been deeply impacted by the pandemic. On the other hand, Disney+ continues to rise in popularity and critical acclaim with over 15 Emmy Nominations while even TikTok’s most popular users speak of the fear of the app being shut down.
Keep following along with MickeyBlog and we promise to keep you posted of further updates to this and other Disney-related news stories!
Thinking about a visit to Disney? Getting started is easy! Simply fill out our form below to get your FREE, no-obligation quote from MickeyTravels.
Find articles like this helpful? Then why not consider working with an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner? As an agent with MickeyTravels, I’ll be on hand to assist you with everything from finding your perfect package to helping you plan lots of special touches to make your visit truly magical. Best of all my services are absolutely FREE. Get in touch at 1.800.801.4025 via email at email@example.com or follow along on Facebook