TikTok courts Instagram’s founder to lead US spin-off

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Front Page - By Lau­rence Dodds in San Fran­cisco

TIKTOK is mak­ing over­tures to Instagram founder and for­mer boss Kevin Sys­trom to lead an Amer­i­can spin-off com­pany that could go pub­lic as early as next year, ac­cord­ing to re­ports. Sources told the New York

Times that TikTok’s Chi­nese owner, ByteDance, is in talks with the 36-year-old bil­lion­aire to re­cruit him as chief ex­ec­u­tive of the ven­ture. That job would pit him against his own cre­ation, which he sold to Facebook in 2012 and which has be­come TikTok’s biggest ri­val in a bat­tle for the hearts and minds of teenagers across the world.

Mr Sys­trom led Instagram un­til 2018, when he quit af­ter los­ing pa­tience with Facebook’s re­lent­less pres­sure to in­te­grate Instagram more deeply with Facebook’s main ser­vice and to col­lect more pri­vate data from its users.

On Thurs­day Reuters re­ported ByteDance was pre­par­ing to re­lin­quish con­trol of TikTok to Amer­i­can in­vestors af­ter agree­ing to last­minute de­mands from the US gov­ern­ment. The com­pany will re­port­edly be called TikTok Global and could float on a US ex­change within a year, with Or­a­cle op­er­at­ing its in­fra­struc­ture and tak­ing a large stake.

It is not clear whether the com­pany will in­clude all of TikTok’s op­er­a­tions or just those in North Amer­ica. ByteDance and Or­a­cle did not re­spond to re­quests for com­ment.

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