On May 20, 2021, Zhang Yiming stepped down as ByteDance CEO and was replaced by Liang Rubo. After nearly half a year, Bytedance ushered in the first major adjustment of the organizational structure.
On the morning of November 2, all employees of ByteDance received an internal letter from Liang Rubo: ByteDance reorganized its business into six business segments: Douyin, Dali Education, Feishu, Volcano Engine, Chaoxi Guangnian and TikTok, related The person in charge of the business sector reports to Liang Rubo.
Among them, the most noteworthy adjustment is that the business sector of Douyin has become larger. Today’s Toutiao, Watermelon, Search, Encyclopedia, and domestic vertical service businesses will all be merged into Douyin. This section is mainly responsible for the overall development of ByteDance’s domestic information and service business, providing users with better content and services.
Prior to this, ByteDance launched headline search, emphasized the internal video search of Douyin, acquired Interactive Encyclopedia, Baike Famous Medical Network, and laid out information search and services. In the video field, in addition to the short videos of Douyin, it also tried PGC video variety show and other content production through Watermelon Video.
In addition, this adjustment has an important personnel adjustment worthy of attention: Zhou Shouzi, the head of TikTok, no longer concurrently serves as the CFO of ByteDance, and the company’s finance department reports to Liang Rubo.
On March 24, 2021, Zhou Shouzi resigned as executive director and president of the international department of Xiaomi, and announced that he would join ByteDance as CFO. On April 30, Liang Rubo, the head of ByteDance HR at the time, issued an internal letter announcing that Zhou Shouzi also served as TikTok’s CEO, mainly responsible for TikTok’s corporate governance and long-term business planning.
This adjustment means that Zhou Shouzi will focus all his energy on TikTok. Coincidentally, during his tenure at Xiaomi, Zhou Shouzi also served as the president of Xiaomi’s international department and led Xiaomi’s overseas business to achieve good growth. In 2020, even under the impact of the epidemic, Xiaomi’s overseas business will still achieve good results, with smartphone shipments ranking among the top three in the European market for three consecutive quarters.
Public information shows that Zhou Shouzi, 38, graduated from the prestigious University College London at the age of 23 and then joined Goldman Sachs; two years later, he resigned to study for the Harvard Business School MBA; at the age of 27, he joined the Russian Fund DST and served as a partner. Singapore came to Beijing and completed DST’s investment in JD.com, Xiaomi, Alibaba, Didi Dache and other projects. In April 2018, Zhou Shouzi was appointed as Senior Vice President by Xiaomi, and in July of the same year, Xiaomi Group successfully went public.
Talking about the background of the organizational structure adjustment, Liang Rubo said in an internal letter that the company has experienced rapid development in the past few years. As the company’s business evolves and the team grows, each business faces different opportunities and challenges. Public data shows that Bytedance has more than 110,000 employees worldwide, and its business covers more than 150 countries and regions.
The main principle of this adjustment is that “closely coordinated businesses and teams are merged into business segments, and the universal middle platform is developed into an enterprise service business.” Therefore, it can be seen that Bytedance has transformed the skills and vocational training functions of the employee development department into a vocational education business and merged it into the vigorous education sector. This sector focuses on the education business and is committed to establishing a life-long education service system, covering areas such as smart learning, adult education, smart hardware, and campus cooperation.
Regarding Liang Rubo’s management style, perhaps we can get a glimpse of it through his past experience. He is a college classmate of Zhang Yiming. The two have become long-term entrepreneurial partners since they co-founded the vertical real estate search engine “Jiujiufang” in 2009. In 2012, Liang Rubo and Zhang Yiming co-founded Bytedance.
From the establishment of Bytedance to 2016, Liang Rubo has been the head of Bytedance product research and development, responsible for many important early products and businesses, including Toutiao, Toutiao, advertising system and user growth system.
Since 2016, Liang Rubo has been responsible for Feishu and efficiency engineering. Feishu, as an enterprise communication and collaboration platform, was first used inside Bytedance and then opened to the outside world. Starting in 2020, Liang Rubo is responsible for the group’s human resources and management, and promotes the organizational construction and talent development of Bytedance.
The following is the full text of Bytedance CEO Liang Rubo’s internal letter:
The company has experienced rapid development in the past few years. We have always adjusted the organization according to business needs and continuously promoted the optimization and upgrade of the organizational structure. As the company’s business evolves and the team grows, each business faces different opportunities and challenges. In order to drive the mission, always start a business, maintain a flexible and efficient organization, and stimulate creativity, the company will follow the principle of “closely coordinated businesses and teams are merged into business segments, and the universal middle platform will develop into a corporate service business”, and the following organizational adjustments will be made and established Six business sectors:
1. Toutiao, Watermelon, Search, Encyclopedia, and domestic vertical service businesses are merged into Douyin. This section is responsible for the overall development of domestic information and service businesses, and provides users with better content and services.
2. The skills and vocational training functions of the employee development department were transformed into vocational education business and merged into the vigorous education sector. This section focuses on education business and is committed to establishing a life-long education service system, covering areas such as smart learning, adult education, smart hardware, campus cooperation, etc., and hopes to serve the participants in the education ecosystem through continuous innovation, and achieve “innovative education, achieving everyone” The goal.
3. Feishu, EE, and EA merged into Feishu business. This section focuses on providing enterprise collaboration and management services, integrating office collaboration applications such as instant communication, online documents, calendars, audio and video conferences, and providing OKR, recruitment, performance, and contract organization and management products.
4. Volcano Engine focuses on building an enterprise-level technical service cloud platform, opening up the experience methods, technical tools and platform capabilities accumulated in the development process of Bytedance to external companies, helping companies achieve continuous growth in the digital upgrade.
5. Zhaoxi Guangnian is responsible for game development and distribution, providing top-level games and building player communities for users and developers around the world, bringing an interesting and inspiring experience for every player.
6. TikTok is responsible for the TikTok platform business and also supports the development of overseas e-commerce and other extended businesses.
The person in charge of each business sector will report to me. TikTok director Zhou Shouzi no longer serves as ByteDance’s CFO, and the company’s finance department reports to me.
The above organizational structure and system configuration adjustments will be completed one after another.
Challenges are endless, and the road ahead is beautiful. I look forward to everyone continuing to work together for themselves and users of Inspire Creativity & Enrich Life.