Kevin Mayer — who just finished a short-lived stint as TikTok’s chief executive and was once seen as a contender for the top job at Disney — has joined billionaire Len Blavatnik’s Access Industries.
Access said Monday that Mayer will become a senior advisor to the Ukrainian-born tycoon’s investment firm, focusing on its media-related businesses and identify new potential business opportunities for the company.
Access’s media investments include Warner Music Group, the third-largest music recording company that reps the likes of Cardi B., Ed Sheeran and Bruno Mars, as well as Deezer, a Paris-based music streaming platform.
Mayer formerly served as chairman of Disney’s direct-to-consumer division and international unit where he oversaw streaming properties like Disney+ and Hulu. He was widely rumored to be an in-house favorite to succeed Bob Iger as CEO, but in February, the company promoted Bob Chapek, who ran Disney’s theme parks and consumer-products unit, to the top job.
In May, Mayer left the Mouse House to become CEO of ByteDance’s popular short-form social media app, TikTok. He would also run China-based ByteDance’s global expansion effort, including its music and gaming businesses.
But Mayer resigned from the company just four months later as the Trump administration pressured ByteDance to sell its US operations, citing national security concerns. In a letter to staffers, Mayer explained that the political climate had shifted and that the CEO role at Tiktok would be changed due to the expected sale of the app’s US business.
Microsoft had considered taking over TikTok both by itself or in a deal with retail giant Walmart. Separately, software firm Oracle and Walmart also pursued TikTok and other potential buyers have considered it. A deal hasn’t been completed.
Mayer said in a statement Monday that he is looking forward to helping Access “on the success of its leading media and entertainment businesses as a key component of my future endeavors.