TikTok hires Facebook veteran Blake Chandlee as part of recruiting push

Blake Chandlee Photographer: Jerome Favre/Bloomberg

Bytedance Ltd. hired Facebook Inc. veteran Blake Chandlee as the first head of strategic partnerships for the Chinese startup’s viral app TikTok.

This is part of a big recruiting push by Bytedance to expand the TikTok brand. The Beijing-based company is the world’s most valuable startup, worth roughly $75 billion. That’s largely thanks to the popularity of Chinese services such as news app Toutiao. Its success outside of China rides on TikTok, a short-form video app that is popular with teenagers but faces stiff competition from social-media incumbents Facebook and Snap Inc.

“Blake is a wonderful addition to the ByteDance family, bringing great experience building strategic partnerships with successful creative and technology leaders in global markets,” Hilary McQuaide, a Bytedance spokeswoman, wrote in an email. Chandlee’s title is vice president, global business solutions.

Chandlee announced the move to Bytedance on his Facebook page. “When you remove political views and religion from the lens on how we view people across the world, we find we have more in common than you can ever imagine,” he wrote.

Bytedance has already hired several executives from YouTube, including Vanessa Pappas, a seven-year veteran of the Google video service. She started as TikTok’s general manager in January.

While the Chinese version of the video app, Douyin, serves ads, Bytedance has only started testing promotions and branded content on TikTok. Bytedance has spent prolifically to market the app across the globe. The company does not share user numbers for TikTok.

Chandlee spent about a decade working on Facebook’s business partnerships in Europe, Latin America and the U.S. In 2017, he was hired by Outcome Health, a startup selling digital ads in doctor’s offices. Later that year, the startup was sued by investors. Chandlee did not respond to a request for comment about his time at the startup. An email sent to Outcome Health seeking comment was not returned.

Bloomberg

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.