Zhang Yiming, the CEO of Bytedance, TikTok’s parent company, is stepping down from his role as leader of the company.
In an open letter, Yiming, 38, explained that his lack of social skills makes him fall short of being an ideal manager for the company. He added that his college roommate and current human resources chief, Liang Rubo, will take over as CEO while Yiming will transition to a new role by the end of the year focusing on “long-term strategy.” Yiming, with a net worth estimated at around $35.6 billion, stated:
“The truth is, I lack some of the skills that make an ideal manager. I’m not very social, preferring solitary activities like being online, reading, listening to music, and daydreaming about what may be possible. After handing over my role as CEO, 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. I came to the conclusion that transitioning out of the role of CEO, with all of the related day-to-day responsibilities, would enable me to have greater impact on longer-term initiatives. With our business growing well, it is time to think about how we can, not simply scale, but make innovative, meaningful, long-term progress toward our mission to ‘inspire creativity, enrich life.'”
In addition to taking on his new role at Bytedance, Yiming shared his intent to get involved with “giving back to society.”