The company on Friday announced that it had named Shouzi Chew as CEO. He joined the company earlier this year as chief financial officer of ByteDance, TikTok’s Chinese owner. He had previously been a top executive at Xiaomi, the Chinese smartphone maker, according to his LinkedIn profile.
“Shou brings deep knowledge of the company and industry, having led a team that was among our earliest investors, and having worked in the technology sector for a decade. He will add depth to the team, focusing on areas including corporate governance and long-term business initiatives.”
Chew is based in his hometown of Singapore, suggesting that the company no longer feels it needs a US-based leader.
Pappas told CNN Business in a statement earlier this year that she was focused on the app’s user experience — and simply “reminding folks that we have a path forward.”
In recent months, the company has largely stayed out of the spotlight, with little action since US President Joe Biden took office.
Policymakers’ chief worry last year was that ByteDance could be forced to hand over TikTok’s data on US users to the Chinese government, under the country’s national security laws.
TikTok, for its part, has said that it stores American user data on US-based servers, with a backup in Singapore, and that its data isn’t subject to Chinese law. But skeptics argue that TikTok’s parent, ByteDance, is ultimately a Chinese business that’s still beholden to Beijing.
TikTok declined to comment on the Biden administration’s request in February, but was not opposing the government’s motion, according to a court filing.
— Brian Fung contributed to this report.