TikTok continues local expansion with key hires to its content division

Mariam Cheik-Hussein
By Mariam Cheik-Hussein | 14 September 2020
Felicity McVay

TikTok has tapped former media and tech executives for its content division as it continues to grow its local team.

Ex-YouTube and Google executive Felicity McVay joins as director of content partnerships for Australia and New Zealand. McVay will oversee the creator and community ecosystem across the regions, which will involve developing creator opportunities and building support for communities across key verticals including LGBTQIA, sports, fashion, and education and science.

McVay previously lead the content partnerships business for YouTube AUNZ and later became the head of Google Play Movies & TV for the APAC region.

Also joining the video-sharing app is Simon Bates as director of content programming for the platform locally. Bates is the former head of MTV for APAC.

He will now lead the programming, promotion and curation of TikTok content, such as the Discover page and live video and hashtags, helping users explore and find new content.

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                     Simon Bates

“Each appointment is strategic by nature, to ensure we can continue to grow and nurture the amazing content from our Aussie and Kiwi TikTok community,” says Lee Hunter, general manager of TikTok's AUNZ content and operation division.

“Our new leaders bring a wealth of expertise in celebrating creativity, culture and diversity and I'm looking forward to further building the team out to support them in embedding TikTok at the heart of local culture."

Joining McVay’s team is Lucy Chesterton, who previously worked at Yahoo Australia and Pacific Magazines in senior editorial roles, as communities and education lead. Delia Deng, previously at YouTube, is also joining as creator growth and partnerships lead.

"TikTok has dramatically changed the short-form video space,” McVay says.

“It's generated new memes, disrupted pop culture and catapulted new talent into our everyday and I was determined to not miss out on that journey.

“I'm super excited to work with local creators on the platform to develop their content to reach new audiences. We have some really talented, distinctive creators in Australia and New Zealand and my team is focused on ensuring that they are seen and heard on the world stage."

TikTok, which opened its Australian office in June, has been expanding its team in recent weeks.

In late August, the platform expanded its commercial team with the appointment of Hollie Lowe as head of customer solutions, Elisa Kelsall as head of partnerships and Andrew Cambridge as head of agency. TikTok also recently added Ollie Wards as director of music.

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