On October 29, Chinese short video platform Kuaishou announced its co-founder Su Hua has relinquished the role as CEO, and Cheng Yixiao, another co-founder, executive director and chief product officer, has been appointed as CEO.
The announcement says that Su remains the chairman, executive director, and member of the Remuneration Committee, and is in charge of the firm’s long-term strategy. As a new CEO, Cheng is responsible for daily operations and business development, and will still report to Su.
Kuaishou said that as the role changes, Su will focus more on the overall strategic planning and development, and will have more time and energy to explore new directions. “This adjustment is expected to further improve the organization efficiency and management efficiency, and better promote the overall business development of Kuaishou.”
Kuaishou was merged from Su and Cheng’s entrepreneurial team in 2013, and has been jointly led by the two since then. Cheng founded Kuaishou GIF, an animation generation tool, in 2011. Thanks to the co-investors of the two sides, Su’s team joined forces with Cheng in 2013. Kuaishou went public this year, but the main company structure remains unchanged.
In 2014, Kuaishou cut off the function of GIF conversion and transformed into a short video community platform, aiming at the third-and fourth-tier cities and even rural groups that had long been ignored by major internet firms. Kuaishou was listed in February 2021, and its share price once peaked at over HK $400 ($51.41). Its previous prospectus suggests that Su held 12.648% and Cheng held 10.023% of shares before the IPO.
Previously, Su was responsible for investment and financing, overseas, administrative personnel finance and external business, and Cheng managed important business departments such as products, operations, e-commerce and games. Several internal letters were jointly released in the name of both individuals.
Founders of several internet companies have stepped down as CEO in the past two years. On May 20 this year, Zhang Yiming issued an internal letter to all employees, announcing his resignation as CEO of ByteDance, mentioning that he would focus on the long-term strategy in the future. Huang Zheng, founder of Pinduoduo, also chose to step down as CEO at the age of 40 last year, instead spending more time formulating the company’s mid-and-long-term strategy.