Shou Zi Chew (TikTok CEO)

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Shou Zi Chew, the CEO of TikTok. Photo from Gadget360.

Background

Early Life

Shou Zi Chew (born 1 January 1983) is a Singaporean businessman. He is the CEO of social networking company TikTok and the CFO of its parent company, ByteDance.[1]

Education

Chew attended University College London and graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Economics in 2006. Thereafter, he attended Harvard Business School, where he earned his Masters of Business Administration (MBA) in 2010.

At Harvard, he spent a summer interning for Facebook. At the time, it was just a startup.[2]

Personal Life

Chew and his spouse Vivian Kao. Photo from Harvard Business School Alumni.

Chew and his spouse Vivian Kao. Photo from Harvard Business School Alumni.

Chew is married to Chinese MBA Vivian Kao, whom he met while studying at Harvard Business School. The couple have 2 children together.[3] In August 2021, Chew was reported to have been in the early stages of acquiring a S$86M, 31,800sqft bungalow in the Queen Astrid Park neighborhood in Singapore.[4] While his exact net worth is not known to the public, it is estimated at around S$273M.[5]

Career

Work experience

After graduating from UCL in 2006, Chew worked at Goldman Sachs for two years as an investment banker.[6] Chew was appointed CFO of Chinese smartphone giant Xiaomi in 2015.[3] He stepped down from the position in April 2020, but held on to his role as International Business President until March 2021, when he fully disaffiliated from the company.[3]

Move to TikTok

From Xiaomi, Chew joined ByteDance, a technology MNC and TikTok’s parent company headquartered in Beijing as CFO in March 2021. Despite only having joined the company in March, he was offered the position of CEO at TikTok a mere 5 weeks later, in May of 2021.[7]

He replaced former CEO Kevin Mayer, who left the company after only 3 months in the role. Citing pressures imposed by the Trump administration to divest as the main reason for his departure, he expressed disappointment at the situation in an interview with CNBC, where in response to questions about whether he felt “screwed over” by his circumstances he responded “Yes. That’s the short answer.”[8][9] Under Chew’s leadership, TikTok has continued down its path of rapid growth, with over 1.2B monthly active users.[10]

References/Citations

  1. Canales, Katie. “Meet Shou Zi Chew, TikTok's 39-year-old CEO who got his start at Facebook and led a Chinese smartphone giant through one of the biggest tech ipos in history”. Yahoo! News. August 14, 2021. Accessed on 19 April 2022.
  2. Global Ambition”. Harvard Business School Alumni. November 13, 2020. Accessed on 19 April 2022.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Hale, Jacob. “Who is the CEO of TikTok? Shou Zi Chew Net Worth, history, Personal Life & More”. Dexerto. November 24, 2021. Accessed on 19 April 2022.
  4. Lai-Lim, Cheryl. “TikTok CEO Chew Shou Zi is acquiring a $86 million GCB: All you need to know”. Tatler Asia. August 11, 2021. Accessed on 19 April 2022.
  5. Shou Zi Chew Bio, affair, relationship, net worth, ethnicity, girlfriend.Married Biography. March 6, 2022. Accessed on 19 April 2022.
  6. Chew, Shou Zi. “ Shou Zi Chew LinkedIn Profile”. LinkedIn. n.d. Accessed 19 April 2022.
  7. Birch, Kate. “Bytedance CFO to TikTok CEO in 5 weeks: Who is Shou Zi Chew?”. Business Chief APAC. May 13, 2021. Accessed on 19 April 2022.
  8. Feng, Coco. “Ex-tiktok CEO Kevin Mayer reveals backstory on his bytedance exit”. South China Morning Post. March 19, 2021. Accessed on 19 April 2022.
  9. Shepardson, David & Beech, Eric. “Trump orders ByteDance to divest interest in U.S. tiktok operations within 90 days”. Reuters. August 15, 2020. Accessed on 19 April 2022.
  10. Iqbal, Mansoor. “Tiktok revenue and Usage Statistics (2022)”. Business of Apps. February 24, 2022. Accessed on 19 April 2022.