Zhang Yiming, the co-founder of Chinese tech giant ByteDance, parent company of TikTok, is stepping down from his role as chief executive. He will be succeeded by Liang Rubo, a fellow co-founder and current head of human resources. Zhang announced the leadership change in an internal memo to staff Thursday.
The leadership shakeup marks the most significant change at ByteDance since its founding in 2012. During that time, the firm has grown to become China's most successful consumer-facing technology company, disrupting the U.S. social media landscape with its innovative and irresistible approach to short-form video.
Zhang told the company's employees that he was stepping back from his leadership position to focus on the firm's longterm strategy. "After handing over my role as C.E.O., and removing myself from the responsibilities of daily management, I will have the space to explore long-term strategies, organizational culture and social responsibility, with a more objective perspective on the company," he wrote.