TikTok's No. 2 executive bails out as company fights for its life [Advance Cash ]

Tiktok'S No. 2 Executive Bails Out As Company Fights For Its Life

Mack DeGeurin

Posted 2 hours ago: June 23, 2023 at 8:20 a.m.

TikTok COO V. Pappas, the longtime face of the company's US operations, calls him. The top executive revealed his resignation in an email to staff on Thursday saying "now is the time to move on and refocus." Their departure comes at a time of extreme uncertainty within the company, with state and federal lawmakers foaming at the mouth to ban the app on national security grounds.

“After nearly 5 years at TikTok, I am stepping down as COO,” they tweeted. "To our incredible community of creators, employees, and people who made TikTok 'the last sunny place on the internet,' it has been an absolute privilege to serve you all and be part of this once-in-a-lifetime journey."

Pappas, according to the email sent to TikTok employees, will retain an advisory role at TikTok. The former COO's resignation email was first reported by The Information.

"Given all the success at TikTok, I finally feel like the time is right to move on and refocus on my entrepreneurial passions," Pappas wrote. “Few people had imagined what the last five years would look like and with all the incredible innovations happening now with generative AI, robotics, renewable energy, genomics, blockchain and IoT, it is clear that the future will be very different again."

In addition to Pappas' departure, TikTok is replacing chief of staff Adam Presser as head of operations, according to a separate email from CEO Shou Chew, according to an email seen by Gizmodo. Former Disney executive Zenia Mucha will join as TikTok's new director of brand and communications.

"As we begin this next chapter, we are grateful to Zenia and Adam for their support and enthusiasm, and we look forward to working closely with them as we evolve and grow together," Chew wrote. “I would also like to thank V again for his contributions and continued commitment to the company. This is an important moment for our company, and I am convinced that we are in a strong position to seize the opportunities that are available to us. »

Pappas had acted as the primary public face of TikTok's US operation since assuming the role of COO in May 2021. Much of Pappas' time in that role has involved efforts to publicly steer the US arm away from the company from its Chinese ownership and sell lawmakers on the company. Project Texas partners with Oracle to sequester US user data. However, a series of whistleblower accusations and damning reports describing Chinese employees accessing US user data has undoubtedly hurt the company's ability to persuade already skeptical lawmakers.

Meanwhile, Chew, the CEO, has emerged in recent months from relative obscurity to play a leading role in TikTok's American charm offensive. Chew went to Congress in March and endured nearly five hours of grilling from lawmakers. The CEO also sat down for a much less combative softball TED interview in April where he outlined his optimistic vision for the company.

"I want to take this opportunity to thank V for their many contributions over the years," Chew said in his email to staff. “Throughout their time at TikTok, they have been instrumental in growing the business, championing the business, improving our product offerings and marketing campaigns, and promoting a positive community of creators and users."

Pappas leaves during a tense period of regulatory uncertainty for TikTok. Members of Congress have tabled half a dozen proposals that would somehow ban TikTok from private US devices on national security grounds. States act even faster. Last month, Montana became the first state to officially ban downloads of the app. The ban, which is expected to come into effect in January 2024, is already the subject of significant legal challenges.