Liang Rubo
Courtesy of ByteDance
China
2021

ByteDance

Liang
Rubo

Cofounder / CEO

Industry watchers were surprised in May 2021 when ByteDance CEO Zhang Yiming announced he was stepping aside and handing his job over to Liang, but perhaps they shouldn’t have been. While Zhang served as the face of the Beijing-based company — which doubled its revenue to $34.3 billion in 2020 — as its short-form video sharing app TikTok was taking the world by storm, Liang was working beside him in the background the whole time. The two met as college roommates in 2002 and cofounded ByteDance 10 years later. Liang went on to lead development on several of the company’s apps (Douyin, Lark, Jinri Toutiao) and serve as CTO and, since 2019, global head of human resources. Zhang will now focus on long-term development for the company, which postponed an IPO in 2021.

Career

  • ByteDance
  • TikTok

Education

  • Nankai University (China)

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Liang Rubo

Liang Rubo

Industry watchers were surprised in May 2021 when ByteDance CEO Zhang Yiming announced he was stepping aside and handing his job over to Liang, but perhaps they shouldn’t have been. While Zhang served as the face of the Beijing-based company — which doubled its revenue to $34.3 billion in 2020 — as its short-form video sharing app TikTok was taking the world by storm, Liang was working beside him in the background the whole time. The two met as college...

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