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TikTok’s COO to step down after nearly 5 years of service

TikTok’s chief operating officer, V Pappas, is stepping down after five years with the short-video company.

In an email to staff on Thursday, the Australian said they would be taking on an advisory role for the company during the transition.

“Given all the successes reached at TikTok, I finally feel the time is right to move on and refocus on my entrepreneurial passions,” said Pappas.

The news was first reported by the Information.

Shou Chew, the chief executive of TikTok, announced on Thursday in a memo to employees that Zenia Mucha, previously a 20-year veteran at Disney, will join TikTok as chief brand and communications officer.

Adam Presser, TikTok’s chief of staff, will become head of operations and oversee content, user operations and distribution, Chew said.

TikTok, which is owned by the Chinese company ByteDance, has come under increasing scrutiny over its ties to China.

The US government, and more than half of US states, have prohibited the app on government devices over concerns of Chinese access to American user data, and the Biden administration has threatened a national ban unless ByteDance sells its shares. In May, Montana became the first US state to ban the app. TikTok, as well as several users, have sued the state in response.

US lawmakers last week introduced new legislation to protect Americans’ user data from being used by US adversaries.

Other governments, including those of Canada and Australia, have banned use of the app on government devices as well.

TikTok has denied Chinese authorities could access data from its users.

Pappas, who was born in Darwin and grew up in Brisbane, joined TikTok from YouTube, where they worked for nearly eight years.

Their departure follows the exit of another key executive in May, when its head of trust and safety, Eric Han, stepped down. AP

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