ByteDance founder Zhang Yiming is stepping down as chairman amid a cabinet reshuffle – News Couple

ByteDance founder Zhang Yiming is stepping down as chairman amid a cabinet reshuffle

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GUANGZHOU, China — ByteDance founder Zhang Yiming has resigned as chairman of the board as the company continues to reorganize its business, a person with direct knowledge of the matter told CNBC.

ByteDance owns TikTok, the popular short video app.

Zhang announced his resignation as CEO of ByteDance in May and said he will move into a strategic role this year.

Liang Robo, who took over as CEO, will now also take over as Chairman of the Board.

ByteDance declined to comment when contacted by CNBC.

The move comes after a massive reorganization at ByteDance this week. Shou Zi Chew, who joined ByteDance as CFO from smartphone maker Xiaomi in March, is stepping down as CFO to focus full-time on his other job as CEO of TikTok.

The Beijing-based company has also set up six business units to focus on different areas from gaming to enterprise software.

When Zhang announced his plans to step down as CEO in May, he said in a memo to employees that he believed someone else could “better drive progress through areas such as improved day-to-day management.”

“The truth is that I lack some of the skills that would make an ideal manager,” he said at the time.

ByteDance was caught in the geopolitical crossfire last year after the administration of President Donald Trump called the company a national security threat and tried to force it to sell its US operations. This did not happen in the end.

ByteDance’s reorganization comes after a number of adjustments in Chinese companies as founders retreated from their day-to-day duties.

Last week, Su Hua, the co-founder of TikTok rival Kuaishou, resigned as CEO but stayed on as chairman. And in September, Richard Liu, founder of e-commerce giant, stepped back from day-to-day operations to focus on the company’s long-term strategy.

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