TikTok CEO quits - Fastly

TikTok CEO Kevin Mayer has quit after just three months in the role:

"I have done significant reflection on what the corporate structural changes will require, and what it means for the global role I signed up for,” Mayer said in an letter to employees.
“Against this backdrop, and as we expect to reach a resolution very soon, it is with a heavy heart that I wanted to let you all know that I have decided to leave the company."


What might this mean for TikTok (and Fastly)?

I think we can only speculate at the moment, but one possibility is that TikTok’s CEO quitting is a signal that the acquisition of its US business is imminent.
TikTok is Fastly’s biggest customer at ~12% of revenue, and so a quick resolution to this can only be a good thing for Fastly - at least in the short term.

(For original Fastly/TikTok threads: https://discussion.fool.com/fsly-tik-tok-fear-34581650.aspx?sort…
and https://discussion.fool.com/tik-tok-deal-and-what-is-means-for-f…)


Nicely spotted. Thanks for sharing.

I’m not sure this news tells us which way the wind is blowing, only that this guy isn’t happy about any of it. Perhaps he wanted to stay in North America and TikTok isn’t going to be there anymore, or he is not part of the buy-out deal.

Some confusion and speculation venting. Ignore it if you have better things to do…

What good does this announcement do anyone? To me this reads like the a CEO throwing a tantrum. Why not quietly support the organization in whatever comes and then step aside? At a time when the business is already under public scrutiny, why add more drama? Perhaps he is being forced out and “getting ahead of it” to save face? I don’t know if I would be interested in hiring this person after a 3-month stint punctuated by a selfish exit. Of course I could be totally wrong, hence the note about speculation.


Perhaps he is being forced out and “getting ahead of it” to save face?

That was my interpretation. Now I’m no expert, but that was my feeling reading it, much as a sports coach resigns before being forced out.

It’s also worth noting that Mayer was not involved in the takeover discussions but ByteDance CEO Zhang, so it shouldn’t negatively affect negotiations from the face of it.

Just speculation of course, but I feel there could be some more good news on the horizon for Fastly here. And if the TikTok deal DOES go against Fastly in whatever way, I’m sure the sentiment behind the positive price action we’ve seen today will nullify this


Your guess is correct.

See the news below came out today:

TikTok sale likely in coming days, in $20B-$30B range - CNBC


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And now China is playing its own posturing game to add red tape around the deal:

"On late Friday, China’s Ministry of Commerce updated its export control categories to cover artificial intelligence technologies. AI is the anchor of ByteDance products, including TikTok, which has thrived on customized content surfaced by machines. The next day, China’s official Xinhua news agency quoted scholar Cui Fan as saying the updated rules could apply to ByteDance. He advised companies with ongoing deals to “halt negotiations and transactions so as to conduct the relevant procedures.”

On late Sunday, TikTok’s Chinese parent ByteDance issued a statement saying it will “strictly follow” the new technology export rules and handle its “related export businesses.”

Many Chinese internet users have chastised ByteDance chief Zhang Yiming for caving in to U.S. pressure, which ordered the TikTok sale over alleged national security threats. Some go as far as labeling the tech boss of the world’s most valuable startup a “traitor.” They compare Zhang to the Huawei boss Ren Zhengfei, whose responses to American sanctions have been thought of as much more aggressive.

I think I read somewhere that China is adding something like 45 days to handle the regulations which goes past the US deadline. Then again I saw this article from a couple of weeks ago that extended Trump’s deadline from Sept 20th to Nov 12th: https://www.theverge.com/2020/8/14/21369753/bytedance-tiktok…

My hope, and guess, is that none of this will have any further significant impact on Fastly since the market knows about this uncertainty. I never thought that one of my holdings would get pulled in to a political tug-o-war between two countries through. Interesting times.