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ByteDance Founder Zhang Yiming Steps Down as Chairman

UTC by Steve Muchoki · 3 min read
ByteDance Founder Zhang Yiming Steps Down as Chairman
Photo: Depositphotos

Yiming’s resignation is, however, viewed as a way for the company to rebrand itself to the global markets like other Chinese tech companies have done in the recent past. 

Zhang Yiming, the co-founder of Beijing-based ByteDance Ltd, has already stepped down as the company’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and now is leaving the position of the Chairman to focus on a more strategic role in the company. Notably, Yiming announced his first resignation earlier this year after the company engaged in a push and pull with the United States administration over security reasons.

Following Yiming’s resignation as ByteDance CEO, Liang Rubo, another co-founder,  took over the CEO role immediately and now is expected to become a new Chairman as well.

In an earlier note to employees, Yiming said that the company needs someone else with better skills than he has to steer the company forward.

“There are still many things that we need to improve, and I think someone else can better drive progress through areas like improved daily management. The truth is, I lack some of the skills that make an ideal manager,” Zhang said in a note to employees.

“I’m more interested in analyzing organizational and market principles and leveraging these theories to further reduce management work, rather than actually managing people. Similarly, I’m not very social, preferring solitary activities like being online, reading, listening to music, and daydreaming about what may be possible,” he said.

Over the past six months since the resignation announcement, both Yiming and Rubo have been working closely to ensure a smooth transition. Moreover, ByteDance and its collection of applications are experiencing a heightened level of competition from other startups that are offering more services. Among them are startups that are focused on developing on top of blockchain technology and offer customers tokenized systems for incentives purposes.

ByteDance was valued at approximately $250 billion as of March 2021, thereby making it one of the most valuable startups in the world.

Way Forward for ByteDance after the Resignation of Yiming

The company has grown as one of the globally respected startups after Uber, especially during the Covid pandemic. Notably, ByteDance is financially backed by Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, SoftBank Group, Sequoia Capital, General Atlantic, and Hillhouse Capital Group.

As a Beijing-based tech company, the United States government has continuously referred to it as China’s ‘mouthpiece’. Moreover, the company is heavily regulated by the Chinese government, thereby giving US regulators thoughts of worry.

Yiming’s resignation is, however, viewed as a way for the company to rebrand itself to the global markets like other Chinese tech companies have done in the recent past.

Among them, Richard Liu, the founder of e-commerce giant JD.com, stepped back from day-to-day operations in September to focus on the company’s long-term strategy.

The effects of the reshuffle are likely to be experienced in the coming quarters and perhaps during the next US presidential election when Donald Trump anticipates a huge comeback.

Business News, Market News, News
Steve Muchoki

A financial analyst who sees positive income in both directions of the market (bulls & bears). Bitcoin is my crypto safe haven, free from government conspiracies. Mythology is my mystery! "You cannot enslave a mind that knows itself. That values itself. That understands itself."

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