Mayer, who worked at the Walt Disney Co. for more than two decades and steered the launch of Disney Plus a year ago, will focus on Access Industries’ strategic media-related businesses and identify new opportunities across media, entertainment and telecom sectors. Blavatnik’s Access owns significant equity stakes in Warner Music Group, sports streaming service DAZN, music and audio streaming service Deezer, among other companies.
“Kevin has an unrivalled depth of experience building successful global media and entertainment enterprises,” Blavatnik said in a statement. “He will bring invaluable knowledge and insight across a range of Access’s investment areas.”
Mayer added: “I look forward to helping Access build on the success of its leading media and entertainment businesses as a key component of my future endeavors. Len has created a company with a variety of impressive assets well positioned to move forward strongly in the years ahead.”
At Disney, Mayer most recently was chairman of the media conglomerate’s direct-to-consumer and international division, including Disney Plus, Hulu, ESPN Plus and Hotstar; its international media and studio operations; global ad sales; and global content and channel sales. Before that, as Disney’s chief strategy officer, Mayer helped engineer the acquisitions of Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm and most of 21st Century Fox’s assets.
Mayer left Disney in May 2020 to become CEO of TikTok, the short-form video-sharing app, as well as COO of parent company ByteDance. That came after Disney named theme parks boss Bob Chapek CEO, succeeding Bob Iger. At the time he had called it a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to join a fast-growing and transformational tech company. “There aren’t many companies like ByteDance and TikTok,” Mayer said in June.
But just three months later, Mayer resigned from ByteDance and TikTok after the Trump administration ordered Beijing-based ByteDance to sell TikTok to American buyers over claims that the app represented a national security threat. A federal court temporarily blocked President Trump’s order banning TikTok, which has been set to go into effect Nov. 12 in the absence of ByteDance’s sale of control of the app to Oracle, Walmart and other U.S. entities.