Tiktok CEO Kevin Mayer has resigned from the hit short-form video app ahead of an impending ban by US President Donald Trump.
The Chinese-owned firm has made allegations against being a threat to US national security by the Trump administration.
Mr Mayer started working at TikTok in June after leaving his role as Disney’s head of streaming services.
The short-form video app TikTok was granted 90 days to be sold to an American firm or encounter a ban in the US.
“In recent weeks, as the political environment has sharply changed, 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 a 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,” Kevin Mayer added.
Both TikTok and Chinese messaging app WeChat encounter bans in the US as strain rise between Washington and Beijing over a wide range of matters including national security worries about Chinese tech firms.
“We appreciate that the political dynamics of the last few months have significantly changed what the scope of Kevin’s role would be going forward, and fully respect his decision. We thank him for his time at the company and wish him well,” a spokesman for TikTok said.
In a statement to the BBC, TikTok verified the sudden departure and referenced the political dynamics of the last few months.
TikTok also said it valued that this meant the opportunity of Kevin Mayer’s part would change going forward and that it fully understand his decision.
The CEO Kevin Mayer was brought into TikTok to assist give the Chinese-owned app an American image.
The thinking was that he would be able to make a deal with a tough-on-China Trump administration better than possibly a Chinese chief executive and that would assist smooth TikTok’s way into one of its biggest markets the US.
Instead, the great pressure from the Trump administration on TikTok only escalated.
President Trump alleged said TikTok is a national security threat because of who it is owned by Chinese internet firm ByteDance.
Earlier this month he signed an executive order that would successfully ban TikTok’s operations in the US if it wasn’t sold to another company by mid September.
All of this is unlikely what Mayer agreed onwhen he left Walt Disney to take on the part at TikTok.
President Trump’s executive order bans transactions with TikTok’s owner ByteDance from mid-September. The firm has gone to court to challenge the ban.
Officials in Washington are worried that TikTok could pass American users’ data to the Chinese government, something ByteDance has rejected doing.
TikTok said the Trump administration’s move was encouraged by politics, not national security.
US tech giant Microsoft has verified that it is pursuing talks to buy the US operations of TikTok.