• TikTok faces potential ban in U.S. and was banned in India
  • TikTok’s U.S. general manger Vanessa Pappas will become interim global chief
  • TikTok is negotiating with various companies for sale of its US assets

The chief executive officer of embattled video-sharing app company TikTok has resigned.

Kevin Mayer, who left Walt Disney (DIS) to join TikTok in June, wrote in a farewell letter to employees: “In recent weeks, as the political environment has sharply changed, I have done significant reflection on what the corporate structural changes will require, and what it means for the global role I signed up for. Against this backdrop, and as we expect to reach a resolution very soon, it is with a heavy heart that I wanted to let you all know that I have decided to leave the company.”

TikTok’s U.S. general manger Vanessa Pappas will serve as the company’s interim global chief.

TikTok has been ensnared in President Donald Trump’s ongoing conflicts with China. Citing data and national security concerns, Trump has ordered TikTok’s Chinese parent, ByteDance, to sell off its U.S. operations. Microsoft (MSFT) and Oracle (ORCL) have emerged as potential suitors for certain of TikTok’s assets. If such a sale does not materialize by Sept. 15, TikTok will be banned in the U.S.

Both TikTok and ByteDance have denied that they pose any threat to the data security of the video app’s American users.

But on Monday, TikTok sued the U.S. government, alleging it was deprived of the right to due process. The suit could potentially postpone the Trump ban, thereby giving it more time to arrange a more attractive sale.

“I understand that the role that I signed up for, including running TikTok globally, will look very different as a result of the U.S. Administration’s action to push for a sell off of the U.S. business,” Mayer added in his resignation letter.

"We appreciate that the political dynamics of the last few months have significantly changed what the scope of Kevin's role would be going forward, and fully respect his decision," a said spokesman for TikTok, according to BBC.

ByteDance CEO Zhang Yiming said his company was now “moving quickly to find resolutions to the issues that we face globally, particularly in the U.S. and India,” Reuters reported.

Zhang said Mayer joined TikTok just as the company was “entering arguably our most challenging moment.”

“It is never easy to come into a leadership position in a company moving as quickly as we are, and the circumstances following his arrival made it all the more complex,” Zhang said.

Karishma Vaswani, Asia business correspondent at BBC, commented that Mayer was brought into TikTok to give the Chinese-owned app an “American image.”

“The thinking was that the former Disney [head of streaming services] would be able to negotiate with a tough-on-China Trump administration better than perhaps a Chinese chief executive and that would help smooth TikTok's path into one of its biggest markets -- the U.S.,” she wrote. “Instead, the intense pressure from the Trump administration on TikTok only grew. … All of this is not what Mr Mayer signed up for when he left Walt Disney to take on the role at TikTok.”

Mark Natkin, managing director of Marbridge Consulting in Beijing. told Reuters that Mayer’s departure will not boost company morale.