ByteDance CEO Steps Down

Zhang Yiming announced Thursday that he will be stepping down as CEO of ByteDance, TikTok’s parent company, and named his college roommate, Liang Rubo, as his successor.

As Liang, currently the head of Human Resources, takes over as CEO, Zhang will transition to a key strategy role near 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 wrote 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.”

ByteDance said Zhang and Liang “will work side by side over the next six months to ensure the smoothest possible transition.”


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