Disney’s former longtime communications chief Zenia Mucha was hired by TikTok on Thursday as the Chinese-owned social media platform seeks to fend off political pressure to ban the app.
TikTok CEO Shou Chew said Mucha, 65, will assume the role of Chief Brand and Communications Officer, effective immediately.
“Zenia will focus on advancing the strategic vision of our brand and advising key businesses,” Chew announced in a companywide memo, which was obtained by The Post.
From 2001 through 2022, Mucha was a fierce defender of the Mouse House, where she commanded a team of more than 500 and founded a Disney fan club dubbed D23 that amassed more than 1 million active members.
In 2021, Mucha announced she would not renew her cushy contract — which paid her $4.9 million per year, according to The New York Times.
She worked her final day at Disney in early 2022.
During the interim between Disney and TikTok, Mucha worked as the president of her namesake communications consultancy company, ZM Strategies.
TikTok, owned by Beijing-based ByteDance, had turned to Zenia last March to help the firm in its fight to prevent a US ban over fears the app was being used by China to spy on Americans.
Mucha was reportedly tapped to coach Chew in the weeks leading up to the executive’s contentious appearance before Congress.
Her appointment was part of a larger executive shakeup at TikTok.
In the internal memo, Chew announced that TikTok’s Chief of Staff, Adam Presser, will become the brand’s Head of Operations, overseeing the brand’s content, user operations and distribution.
Staffers were also notified that COO V. Pappas resigned.
Pappas, who spent five years at TikTok, notified her colleagues of her exit on Thursday morning.
“I finally feel the time is right to move on and refocus on my entrepreneurial passions,” she wrote in a companywide email, which she also posted to LinkedIn.
TikTok declined to comment on the overhaul beyond Chew’s memo.
In May, Montana became the first state to ban the uber-popular app — which boasts 1 billion users, including more than 150 million in the US.
Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte signed legislation to ban TikTok from operating in the state as of Jan. 1, 2024, citing concerns about potential Chinese government influence over the platform.
Source by [New York Post]