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TikTok owner Bytedance's cofounder Zhang Yiming steps down as CEO, saying he's not an 'ideal manager'

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zhang yiming net worth bytedance tiktok 2x1
ByteDance cofounder & CEO Zhang Yiming. Visual China Group via Getty Images; Ruobing Su/Business Insider

Zhang Yiming, the cofounder of the Chinese internet giant ByteDance, which owns TikTok, is stepping down as CEO, Reuters reported Wednesday.

"The truth is, I lack some of the skills that make an ideal manager. I'm more interested in analyzing organizational and market principles, and leveraging these theories to further reduce management work, rather than actually managing people," Zhang wrote in a memo to employees, according to Reuters.

"Similarly, I'm not very social, preferring solitary activities like being online, reading, listening to music, and contemplating what may be possible," he added.

Zhang said ByteDance cofounder and HR chief Rubo Liang will transition into the CEO role over the next six months, Reuters reported.

Zhang, a 38-year-old software engineer who cofounded ByteDance in 2021, has since built a net worth of around $44.5 billion, Bloomberg estimates. Despite being one of the wealthiest people in China as ranked by the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, Zhang is extremely private and little is known about his personal life.

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