ByteDance CEO is stepping down, admits lacking managerial skills

Founder of TikTok and CEO at ByteDance Zhang Yiming has announced in a memo to employees he is stepping down from his role, admitting he lacks “some of the skills that make an ideal manager.”

His successor will be Liang Rubo, ByteDance co-founder and HR head, and the two men will be working together for the next six months to ensure a smooth transition.

Zhang Yiming (left) and Liang Rubo (right)Zhang Yiming (left) and Liang Rubo (right)

Yiming revealed he was thinking for several months about the idea of stepping down and moving away from the day-to-day responsibilities. Eventually, in March he discussed the idea and suggested Rubo take over as CEO. According to the memo, he will be better with his “strengths in management, organization, and social engagement”.

Liang Rubo himself has been Head of R&D, Lark and Efficiency Engineering, and is currently occupying the Head of HR and Management role as the company “scaled up at an incredible rate globally”.

This is another big change in upper management after the TikTok CEO quit back in August 2020 after just four months of being appointed into the position. The popular social network was on the verge of being banned in the United States, one of its biggest markets, but after Donald Trump was not re-elected for a new presidential term, the whole scandal was swept under the rug.

Meanwhile, TikTok is still banned in India. There’s no information when the government would lift the ban but it might take a while after the company’s assets were frozen following a tax-evasion probe.


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