A Closer Look At Shou Zi Chew, TikTok's New CEO

When TikTok — the world's hottest social media platform worth some $400 million, according to Mothership — starts making personnel changes at the very top of the organization, anyone involved in either business or tech is bound to sit up and take notice.

On April 30, the TikTok Newsroom shared a press release letting the world know that the company has a new CEO: Shou Zi Chew, who is taking the reins after a stint as the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) at TikTok's parent company, ByteDance.

"The leadership team of Shou and Vanessa [Pappas, the new permanent Chief Operations Officer (COO)] sets the stage for sustained growth," said ByteDance founder and current CEO, Yiming Zhang, in a statement included in the press release. "Shou brings deep knowledge of the company and industry, having led a team that was among our earliest investors, and having worked in the technology sector for a decade. He will add depth to the team, focusing on areas including corporate governance and long-term business initiatives."

Analysts such as Jacob Knutson at Axios have highlighted the importance of the timing of the move and its context, noting that the former CEO, Kevin Meyer, resigned from the company after just three months at the helm last year when the Trump administration was pressuring ByteDance to sell off its U.S. operations to an American buyer.

After a period of uncertainly, Shou's appointment looks set to continue TikTok's expansion and continue the platform taking the world by storm. But just who is Shou Zi Chew?

Shou Zi Chew: The Harvard grad taking TikTok's top job

Anyone trying to get the lowdown on the new CEO of TikTok might find it a little tricky. At the time of writing, Shou Zi Chew doesn't yet have his own Wikipedia page, while many of the usual "cheat sheet" websites that deign to give you access to a public figure's net worth and investments are all surprisingly uninformative.

But many details about the rising businessman's life are out there, beginning with the fact that he has made it to the role of CEO before the age of 40. The South China Morning Post reports that Chew is currently just 38 years old, the same age as ByteDance's founder.

Per the same source, Singapore-born Chew has an impressive resume, having graduated with a degree in economics from the prestigious University College London, after which he worked for a spell in the U.K. capital for investment giant Goldman Sachs. Thereafter, while studying for an MBA at Harvard Business School, the new TikTok CEO met his equally business-minded partner, Vivian Kao, also at the time a Harvard MBA student, per the Harvard website. After both graduating in 2010, Chew and Kao married, and now live in Beijing with their two young children. Before joining ByteDance, according to Harvard, Chew worked for many years at the Chinese tech company Xiaomi and helped to take the company public.