ZHANG Yiming, 38, founder and chairman of ByteDance, the company that owns Douyin and Tik Tok, told his employees in an internal memo on Thursday that he will step down as the CEO to be succeeded by LIANG Rubo, another founder, by the end of this year. ZHANG will move to a position where he can focus on long-term strategy.
“I believe I can best challenge the limits of what the company can achieve over the next decade and drive innovation in a new role,” Zhang wrote.
Liang is a college friend of Zhang’s. They went into business together in 2009. Liang was named head of HR in 2020 when the number of employees grew from 60,000 to 100,000. Before that, he held numerous critical roles at ByteDance including head of R&D.
Founded in 2012, ByteDance is valued at over $250 billion.