Zhang Yiming founded ByteDance and TikTok; now he's stepping down as CEO

He played a pivotal role in growing the company to what it is today.


Alfred Lee

20 May, 2021

Zhang Yiming founded ByteDance and TikTok; now he's stepping down as CEO | BEAMSTART News

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Zhang Yiming, ByteDance's co-founder and current CEO, announced in a recent memo that he will be stepping down from the company.

He will step down end of 2021.

Key Highlights

  • Current ByteDance co-founder and CEO, Zhang Yiming, announced that he will be stepping down effective end of 2021.
  • His position will be replaced by HR chief, Liang Rubo, the company disclosed on Tuesday.
  • In a memo shared by Zhang, he mentions that he feels that he "lacks some skills that make an ideal manager".
  • Zhang will move to a "key strategy" position at the end of this year, according to a statement.

Why It Matters

  • Zhang stepping down is one of the biggest corporate shake-ups in ByteDance's history, especially at a time when China's anti-trust regulators are stepping up their scrutiny on giant tech companies.
  • ByteDance's apps are used by billions of users both worldwide and in China, giving the power tremendous influence in the social media space.
  • Liang taking over the CEO position could be the "clean-slate" the company needs to continue it's aggressive growth worldwide.

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