August 10, 2020 |

TBI Vision

TikTok expands European presence by hiring chief for German operations

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Tobias Henning

Social media video giant TikTok is expanding its presence in Europe by appointing a new chief to oversee operations in Germany.

Tobias Henning will become the company’s first general manager in the country from October and reports into Rich Waterworth, TikTok’s European chief.

He joins from publishing group Axel Springer, where he oversaw digital operations for brands including Bild and Welt. Prior to that, Henning worked for international law firm Hengeler Mueller, among others.

TikTok, which has grown rapidly during the Covid-19 pandemic, now has general managers in the US, UK, Australia, Canada and Japan. The social media sensation, owned by China’s ByteDance, also recently appointed Kevin Mayer, Disney’s head of direct-to-consumer and international team, to become COO of ByteDance and CEO of TikTok.

Former NBCUniversal (NBCU) and Fremantle exec Dominic Burns has also joined the group to manage partnerships across Europe, as revealed by TBI.

“Germany is one of our most important markets,” said Waterworth. “We invest a lot in building the team and we are very pleased that Tobias will continue to drive our growth and our localization strategy. Tobias has a lot of experience in the development of digital content models and their further development and will lead TikTok Germany into the next growth phase.”

Henning added: “TikTok is a unique, innovative content platform for me. The incredibly entertaining ideas of the diverse users impress me again and again. I am really looking forward to starting at TikTok and can hardly wait to see the many talents behind it unique product.”

While TikTok has surged in popularity with users, the service has also found itself at the centre of controversy in the US and India, where respective governments have looked to restrict access. Reports emerged last week that Microsoft is also exploring an acquisition of parts of the service’s operation.

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