TikTok Hires Former NBA CMO as Its New Marketing Chief

Kate Jhaveri fills the vacant top consumer marketing job at the popular video-sharing app

Former NBA Chief Marketing Officer Kate Jhaveri was named TikTok’s global head of marketing.

Photo: Joe Carrotta for The Wall Street Journal

ByteDance Inc.’s TikTok named the National Basketball Association’s former top marketer, Kate Jhaveri, as its global head of marketing as the video-sharing platform aims to continue its growth.

TikTok’s top consumer marketing job had been vacant since the departure of Nick Tran, a former Hulu executive who held the role from April 2020 until January 2022, a spokeswoman said. 

Ms. Jhaveri will oversee the social-media platform’s consumer and brand marketing, reporting to Vanessa Pappas, TikTok’s chief operating officer, the spokeswoman said. Ms. Jhaveri also will head up TikTok’s marketing to content creators on the platform, and will work closely with Sofia Hernandez, TikTok’s global head of business marketing.

TikTok last year said that more than 1 billion people a month use its app, which lets users create short videos and serves them up to other users through its recommendation algorithm. A Pew Research Center survey this year found that about two-thirds of U.S. respondents between 13 and 17 years old use the app.

Still, the company continues to spend on marketing itself to consumers worldwide. 

In the U.S., advertising promoting TikTok totaled an estimated $51.6 million from January through August, up from $32.7 million in the same months of 2021, according to research firm Kantar Media. Those figures include media such as TV, radio, outdoor ads, magazines and the internet, but exclude social media.

TikTok in May also sought to win over more creators with the announcement of TikTok Pulse, a program that shares some ad revenue with the creators of its top videos.

Parent company ByteDance produced an operating profit in the first quarter of this year after years of large losses, according to a financial report viewed by The Wall Street Journal last month.

ByteDance’s Chinese ownership has led some U.S. politicians and others to raise concerns that Beijing could use TikTok to gather data on millions of American users, with some calling for an outright ban on the app. President Biden has been negotiating with TikTok on measures aimed at preventing information on U.S. users from being shared with the Chinese government.

TikTok has said it hasn’t shared user data with the Chinese government and wouldn’t do so if asked.

Ms. Jhaveri had been chief marketing officer of the NBA from 2019 until August this year. She oversaw the league’s marketing during its pause and restart due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The league named former Paramount Global executive Tammy Henault to be its new CMO last month.

Ms. Jhaveri was previously CMO at Twitch, Amazon.com Inc.’s videogame live-streaming platform, and held marketing positions at Twitter Inc., Facebook —now known as Meta Platforms Inc.—and Microsoft Corp.

Write to Katie Deighton at katie.deighton@wsj.com

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