TikTok, the online destination for short-form mobile video, has bolstered its commitment to the Australian market with a number of executive hires.
Following the app’s surge in popularity locally, TikTok announced the appointment of its local leadership team, with former Google and YouTube executive, Lee Hunter, joining as General Manager for TikTok Australia alongside former Google executive, Brett Armstrong, as General Manager for Global Business Solutions in Australia.
Hunter will lead a team of experts for TikTok based in Sydney, with a focus on overseeing the implementation of safety policies and resources, as well as driving growth, partnerships and the local product experience.
Hunter joins Brett Armstrong, General Manager of Global Business Solutions, who oversees the commercial business and focuses on brand partnerships, client solutions, business marketing and sales operations. Armstrong previously was at Google where he led as Country Manager for New Zealand and Head of Media Agencies ANZ.
Other executives on the Australia team include Brent Thomas as Director of Public Policy for Australia, leading engagement with policy and NGO stakeholders to maintain industry leading standards in safety and content, and Arjun Narayan Bettadapur Manjunath as Head of Trust & Safety, leading TikTok’s dedicated APAC team based in Singapore.
Vanessa Pappas, General Manager of TikTok US overseeing North America and ANZ, comments: “We are delighted by the positive response to TikTok in Australia and have been inspired by the remarkable creativity across Australia. As we continue to build a positive and safe environment for users, our focus is on hiring the right local talent and strengthening our local leadership team to best support the Australian TikTok community. I am confident in the management team we’ve assembled to drive TikTok’s growth and opportunity in Australia for creators and brands, and look forward to furthering the incredible creativity of our Australian community.”
Commenting on his appointment, Lee Hunter said: “I’ve been truly inspired watching Australia’s unique and creative spirit shine through on TikTok, especially during this challenging time. I love that TikTok has helped bring Australian communities together when we’ve needed it most, whether it’s having fun at home, sharing how we’re feeling, or expressing ideas and messages that need to be heard. I’m excited to build on this outpouring of positive, diverse and creative content, lead our growing local team, and support our brilliant community of Australian users, creators and partners.”
On his role, Brett Armstrong said: “TikTok is all about spreading joy and positivity through fun shared experiences, and I’m incredibly excited to continue to share this ethos with Australian brands and partners. We’ve got some fantastic campaigns underway, with results exceeding expectations already, so I’m really looking forward to growing our business offering from strength to strength locally.”
As well as continuing to invest in its local team and tools to promote a positive and safe environment for its Australian users, TikTok has committed to supporting communities affected by COVID-19 both globally and in Australia. As part of its financial support for relief efforts, today TikTok announced a $3 million AUD donation to The Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity.
TikTok has developed a thriving and diverse community in Australia by offering a truly unique home for creative expression combined with various local programs such as the livestream series #HappyAtHome, #NatureAtHome, #HeapsGood and #LearnOnTikTok supporting creators’ development. Viral content such as Aussies saving turtles, parkour on the streets of Brisbane and Scott Morrison press conference mash ups has made its way to every home in Australia, even the Prime Ministers’. Australian brands such as Optus, Suncorp and Milo have also seen success in engaging audiences on TikTok as the app continues to transcend sectors with diverse and creative content.
Over the past 18 months, TikTok has hired General Managers in the US, UK, India, Japan, and Canada. The appointment of a General Manager and expansion of the local team in Australia further reinforces the company’s commitment to delivering a strong local product experience that continuously creates value for local business communities and creators.