V.Pappas, the chief operating officer (COO) of TikTok for the last five years, has resigned.

Pappas posted a statement claiming they feel now is the time to “refocus”.

In a statement posted on Twitter, Pappas said: “Given all the successes reached at TikTok, I finally feel the time is right to move on and refocus on my entrepreneurial passions.

“Few had imagined what the last five years would look like and with all the incredible innovation happening now with generative AI, robotics, renewable energy, genomics, blockchain and the IoT, clearly the future will again look much different.”

The news comes as TikTok continues to be in the firing line of governments who fear threats to national security due to its Chinese ownership, ByteDance.

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By GlobalData

Governments across the world, including the US and UK, have passed legislation to ban the app on government devices. While recently, the state of Montana made the landmark move to ban the app completely – resulting in several lawsuits against the state. 

Pappas, who joined TikTok in 2018 as general manager, was at the forefront of defending the company against the criticism of its Chinese owners. 

The former TikTok COO conducted multiple interviews with the media and testified in court in defense of the company 

Chew Shou Zi, TikTok CEO, thanked Pappas for her time with the company in a note to employees. 

“I want to take this opportunity to thank V for their many contributions over the years,” Chew said.

 “Throughout their time at TikTok, they have been instrumental in growing the business, advocating for the company, elevating our product offerings and marketing campaigns, and fostering a positive community of creators and users. 

“They have had a significant and lasting impact and we are truly grateful for their tireless efforts.”

Pappas will continue to act as a strategic advisor at TikTok.