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V Pappas Steps Down as TikTok COO; Company Announces New Leadership Amidst Ongoing Privacy Concerns

TikTok's COO, V Pappas, is set to depart from the video-sharing firm after a five-year tenure, as confirmed by the company.


TikTok's CEO, Shou Zi Chew, disclosed Pappas's forthcoming exit in a corporate memo, which was accessed by The Hill. He mentioned that Pappas would now be shifting her focus towards pursuing "entrepreneurial passions."


In his message to employees, Chew expressed gratitude for Pappas's invaluable contributions during her tenure. He said, "Throughout her time at TikTok, she has been pivotal in expanding the business, championing the company, enhancing our products and marketing initiatives, and nurturing a vibrant community of creators and users."


He added that Pappas's significant and enduring impact was greatly appreciated and that her relentless efforts were noteworthy. "We understand V's excitement for her upcoming career phase, and we extend our best wishes for her future roles and undertakings."


Pappas affirmed her exit via a Twitter thread, reproducing the memo sent to the company's employees.


She posted, "Serving our incredible community of creators, employees, and all those who have deemed TikTok 'the last sunny spot on the internet' for nearly five years, has been an unmatched privilege. I am leaving my role as COO, marking the end of an extraordinary journey."


Following the departure of Eric Han, the company's head of trust and safety for the U.S. last month, as reported by The Verge, Pappas is the second executive to leave TikTok recently.


U.S. officials and legislators have often criticized TikTok, owned by China-based ByteDance, citing national security and data privacy issues. This has led to the implementation or proposal of TikTok bans on government devices by several state governments and Congress.


Last month, Montana became the first state in the U.S. to ban public access to TikTok following the signing of legislation by Gov. Greg Gianforte (R) due to data privacy concerns.

Earlier this year, the Biden administration demanded that ByteDance relinquish its stake in the company, cautioning that the social media platform could face a complete U.S. ban.


In response to these bans, TikTok, under the leadership of Chew—who has even given testimonies to Congress—filed a lawsuit challenging the ban, as per Bloomberg. Chew dismisses the bans, terming Montana's bill as "blatantly unconstitutional."


In the memo issued on Thursday, Chew announced that Adam Presser, currently the platform's chief of staff, would be assuming the role of the company's operations head. Additionally, Zenia Mucha, a Disney veteran with twenty years of service, would take up the role of the chief brand and communications officer.

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