The head of TikTok‘s marketing department has stepped down abruptly after blindsiding company leadership with a series of odd campaigns, The Post reports.
Former Hulu executive Nick Tran, who worked at TikTok for less than two years, has been ousted after trying to move the popular video-sharing app to new business lines, including NFTs and restaurants, sources close to the company revealed.
According to sources who called the company after Tran was ousted from power, Tran recently announced plans to launch a TikTok Kitchen without the consent of top management. In partnership with Virtual Dining Concepts (VDC), the idea was that the company would deliver viral dishes from the platform to homes across.
At the end of December, many publications reported that the technology giant would open 1,000 “ghost kitchens” by the end of 2022.
The restaurant initiatives set aside Trans already shaky state in the short video company — and it was launched shortly after, insiders add.
A source who listened to the company call revealed a TikTok exec said, “We are not in the restaurants business, and we should not present ourselves like that.”
Other products that surprised management included a “creator-led NFT collection” featuring celebrities such as Lil Nas X and Bella Poarch.
The project was presented with great fanfare in October and was widely covered. According to reports, Tran could not deliver and tried to sweep it under the rug.
Tran has also led TikTok Resumes, which seeks to place TikTok users in entry-level jobs at many employers such as Alo Yoga, Target, and Chipotle.
The senior TikTok executive added in the call that these campaigns were not in line with the company’s goals and gave the impression that TikTok had parted ways after ongoing disputes over the use of “stunt-marketing.”
One caller told The Post: “There were a lot of guides – he was going ahead of the business.”
Vanessa Pappas, TikTok’s global chief operating officer, will fill Tran’s position until someone else replaces him.
“We can confirm that Nick Tran is no longer at TikTok and wish him the best of luck in his future endeavors,” a company spokesman declined to give further details to The Post.
Tran joined TikTok from Hulu in 2020, where he served as vice president of brand and culture marketing. He also worked in digital marketing at Samsung and Taco Bell. He previously won numerous awards from Forbes, Fortune, Adweek, and AdAge for achievements in marketing.