Briefing: Bytedance appoints new CEO to Jinri Toutiao

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张一鸣卸任今日头条CEO,原总裁陈林接任 – NetEase

What happened: Zhang Yiming, founder of ByteDance, has stepped down as CEO of the company’s flagship content distribution platform Jinri Toutiao, but will remain CEO of ByteDance. Chen Lin, former head of product at Jinri Toutiao and a Peking University computer science alumni, has taken over Zhang’s role. According to Chen, his work responsibilities will not change significantly.

Why it’s important: The personnel shift reflects ByteDance’s strategy shift. At the moment, ByteDance is more than any single product – it’s now an aggregator of a complex matrix of content-based products. Former product expert Chen will ensure the performance of Jinti Toutiao. Zhang will focus more on corporate strategy to break growth bottlenecks and navigate tightening state regulation. This could also mean that Zhang’s ByteDance will plan for new products, and that Jinri Toutiao is not any more a pilot project but a mature commercial product already.