V Pappas is leaving TikTok.
They’ve been with the platform for the most tumultuous five years of its existence, having joined in 2018 as its general manager of U.S. operations.
They rose to interim CEO from August 2020, when former CEO Kevin Mayer quit, to May 2021, when current chief Shou Zi Chew was appointed. Since 2021, they’ve been TikTok’s global chief operating officer.
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“I took a gamble on what was then a completely unknown company and product and followed my intuition, really my passion, to build a place for people to come together around shared moments of joy and creativity, and to foster a place that is inclusive and open to all,” Pappas wrote in a memo to TikTok employees this morning (which they later posted publicly on Twitter). “Five years later, we have grown to a global team of thousands of people and I believe we have achieved our goal to innovate and define an entirely new experience for people to share, create, and be entertained.”
Pappas added that “[g]iven all the successes reached at TikTok, I finally feel the time is right to move on and refocus on my entrepreneurial passions.”
“I know the company has a very bright and stable future under the strong leadership of Shou Chew and our executive team,” they wrote. “I will be here to support him, the leadership team and all of you during this transition by taking on an advisory role for the company.”
“Throughout their time at TikTok, they have been instrumental in growing the business, advocating for the company, elevating our product offerings and marketing campaigns, and fostering a positive community of creators and users,” Chew said in his own staff memo. “I want to take this opportunity to thank V for their many contributions over the years.”
TikTok’s current chief of staff, Adam Presser, will take Pappas’ place as COO, and longtime Disney exec Zenia Mucha is joining the company as its chief brand and communications officer.