Zhang Yiming, CEO of TikTok’s parent company ByteDance says he will be stepping down from his position, leaving the responsibility of running the affairs of running the social media brand in the hands of his longtime colleague and college roommate, Liang Rubo.
In a memo to employees on Thursday, he disclosed that the change would enable him to have greater impact on longer-term initiatives.
He says will be moving to a key strategy position at the end of the year, ByteDance said in the statement as reported by Reuters.
Zhang, addressed Liang as “an invaluable partner” with “strengths in management, organization, and social engagement”.
Report has it that Zhang owns about 20% to 30% of ByteDance and holds over 50% of voting rights, people with knowledge of the matter previously told Reuters. ByteDance did not comment on Zhang’s stake.
Zhang in the memo said he will work with Liang over the next six months to ensure a smooth transition. He did not mention whether he would give be giving up his voting rights but that is unlikely.
“Based on previous experience it’s likely we could see a slowdown of investment in new businesses, while they could pay more attention to old businesses as the new management team needs some time for adjustment,” said Shawn Yang, managing director of Blue Lotus Capital Advisors.