ByteDance founder Zhang Yiming to step down as CEO by end of 2021

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Zhang Yiming, the storied co-founder of ByteDance, is stepping down from his role as the CEO and passing the responsibilities to Liang Rubo, another co-founder of the TikTok parent .

Zhang said he is making the transition to spend more time on “long-term strategy, corporate culture, and social responsibility.”

Zhang will work side by side with Liang, currently ByteDance’s head of human resources and his college classmate, over the next six months to ensure a smooth transition. Zhang will remain as a member of the board at ByteDance.


“Innovation and success are rooted in years of exploring and imagining what is possible. However, few people have real insight into the future, preferring to model on current and past achievements,” the founder wrote, citing American tech giants as role models .Zhang also recognized that he’s not the ideal manager type, saying he’s “more interested in analyzing organizational and market principles, and leveraging these theories to further reduce management work, rather than actually managing people.”

Another high-profile Chinese tech boss who recently resigned from day-to-day operations was Colin Huang, founder of Alibaba’s arch rival Pinduoduo. Huang took a step back so he could allocate his energy to food and life sciences, areas that the e-commerce firm hopes could fuel its future growth.

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