After Ma Yun, Liu Qiangdong, and Huang Zheng, the founder of another domestic Internet company decided to leave the front line.
In his speech on the ninth anniversary of ByteDance on March 30, Zhang Yiming once said that the world is changing at an accelerated pace, the outside is ups and downs, and the heart must remain calm as usual. Treat yourself, product business, industry competition, success and failure with a normal mind, and “do extraordinary things with a normal mind”. He also said that in the new year, he will reduce his daily work and free up more energy to focus on company culture, social responsibility and new directions.
The ordinary mind, in the most straightforward words, is: “Eat well when you eat, and sleep well when you sleep.”
He is now officially stepping down as CEO.
On the morning of May 20, ByteDance founder Zhang Yiming issued an internal letter to all staff announcing his resignation as CEO. ByteDance co-founder Liang Rubo will take over as the new CEO.
First of all, when it comes to the success of Byte, Zhang Yiming said in the letter to all staff, “We are fortunate to seize the opportunity of the development of the times, based on machine learning technology to innovate and practice on mobile terminals and videos, and have achieved some results.”
Secondly, the open letter revealed that in March this year, Zhang Yiming communicated his idea of resignation internally and proposed that Ru Bo come to take over the job of CEO. Zhang Yiming and Liang Rubo will be handed over by the end of the year.
After leaving the complicated job of CEO, what will Zhang Yiming do? At present, it seems that he will focus on long-term important things such as long-term strategy, corporate culture, and social responsibility.
Zhang Yiming said that he hopes to “be able to focus on learning knowledge, think systematically, research new things, try and experience hands-on, and create more possibilities for the company in a ten-year period.”
At the same time, he will also invest in ByteDance’s social responsibility and public welfare, “among which, new projects such as education public welfare, brain disease, and the digitization of ancient books are also being explored. I am also a little invested, and I have more ideas. , I hope to participate more deeply.”
The following is the full text of Zhang Yiming’s internal staff letter
In the past few months, many students have asked me why the bimonthly OKRs have not been updated since this year. To be honest, I am quite dissatisfied with the three annual OKRs last year about exploring new visions and new strategies, researching organization and management, and enhancing social responsibility. So since the New Year’s holiday, I’ve been thinking about how bi-monthly, one-year, and longer-term OKRs are not just linear extensions. I have a different idea. I decided to step down from the role of CEO and put aside my daily management work. As the founder of the company, I focused on long-term important matters such as long-term strategy, corporate culture, and social responsibility.
We are fortunate to seize the opportunity of the development of the times, innovate and practice on the mobile terminal and video based on machine learning technology, and achieve some achievements. After graduation to the beginning of the establishment of Byte, I have learned a lot and thought about many issues, such as how to distribute information more effectively, how to combine products and technologies, and how to improve the company as a product. These thoughts are helpful to the founding and development of ByteDance, and the entrepreneurial experience has enriched and verified the thinking. Although the company’s business is developing well now, but for a longer time in the future, can we not stop here, can not only become bigger in business, but also become more creative and meaningful, and practice the mission of “stimulating creativity and enriching life” .
Continuous deep thinking and bold imagination are the basis for the realization of innovative results. But people are more likely to pay attention to changes in business models and updates to brand channels, and rarely notice that technological changes are already brewing. Only a few can see into the future and create trends.
Now that the electric car industry is in full swing, most people may not remember that Tesla was founded 18 years ago, when it was used for prototyping experiments with laptop batteries. Many people know that the Mac’s package management tool is HomeBrew, but fewer people know that in the 1970s, geeks were showing and discussing Apple I and other prototypes of personal computers at the HomeBrew Club. The impact of virtual reality, life science, and scientific computing on human life is already dawning, and we need to break through the inertia of business to explore. At the same time, the impact of technology on society is also growing, and we must continue to learn how enterprises can better assume social responsibilities.
At the 7th anniversary meeting, I shared with you a sentence from “Alice in Wonderland” – “Sometimes before breakfast, I already believe that six seemingly impossible things will happen”. I like to think about things that might exist in theory, but have not yet happened in reality. My signature file has always liked to be in a daze. When I say daze, I don’t mean to be empty, but to think about some very boundless and rarely discussed ideas. But in busy work, more and more, a lot of things have happened in reality, but I don’t know. I feel that in the past few years, I have been “eating the old” to a large extent. For example, before 17 years ago, I could still keep an eye on the new progress of machine learning technology. I haven’t learned much in the past three years. I have collected it on Toutiao and Watermelon. Lots of professional videos and articles, but read intermittently, progress is very slow, and it is difficult to keep up with progress in technical discussions.
Three years ago, I shared with some entrepreneurs, the core is that CEOs should avoid a common negative scale effect – when the business and organization become more complex and larger, the CEO as the central node is prone to fall into passive: every day To listen to a lot of reports and summaries, to do a lot of approval and decision-making, it is easy to lead to the internal perspective, knowledge structure update slowly. So in the past six months, I have gradually formed this idea, made an adjustment to my state, separated from the work of the CEO, and can relatively focus on learning knowledge, systematic thinking, researching new things, hands-on experimentation and experience, in a ten-year period, create for the company more possible. At the same time, the company has made some progress in social responsibility and public welfare. Among them, new projects such as education public welfare, brain disease, and digitization of ancient books are also being explored. I am also invested in myself. I have more ideas and hope to participate more deeply. .
At the same time, there are still many important things that the company needs to do better. I hope that there are more suitable people than me to improve the daily management and ensure the healthy development of the company. I am not a mature manager in the traditional sense, and I am not very good at socializing. I prefer to study organizational and market principles to reduce management. I like to surf the Internet, read books, listen to songs, and be in a daze. In March, I discussed this idea on a small scale, and proposed that Ru Bo come to take over the job of CEO. Everyone understood and supported my proposal very well.
Ru Bo is the co-founder of the company, and ByteDance is the second company I co-founded with him. In ByteDance, he successively assumed the work of product R&D director, Feishu and efficiency engineering director, and group human resources and management director. Since the establishment of the company, he has assisted me in many things, from purchasing and installing servers to taking over half of the systems I wrote, important recruitment, enterprise system and management system construction. In the next six months, the two of us will work together to ensure that the handover is done by the end of the year. Please support the work of new CEO Ru Bo!
During a trip a few years ago, I sent a circle of friends saying: Part of the meaning of travel lies in the switching of time and space, and it is easier to treat the subject as an object and examine yourself and life itself. After stepping down as CEO, in addition to focusing on long-term issues such as long-term strategy, corporate culture, and social responsibility, it is also easier for me to observe the company from an external perspective. In the company’s 2012 business plan, I told the team that I hope everyone can take the process of starting a business as a trip to enjoy the scenery. I hope you all support my “travel” in this trip.
His successor, Liang Rubo
Liang Rubo graduated from Nankai University in 2005, majoring in microelectronics, and is a college classmate with Zhang Yiming. After graduation, he worked as a lead engineer at Accelicon Technologies. Their long-term partnership began in 2009 when they co-founded the vertical real estate search engine “Jiujiufang”. In 2012, Liang Rubo and Zhang Yiming co-founded ByteDance.
From then until 2016, Liang Rubo has been the head of product research and development of ByteDance, responsible for many important products and businesses in the early stage, including Toutiao, Toutiao, advertising system and user growth system. Since 2016, Liang Rubo has been in charge of Feishu and Efficiency Engineering. Feishu is an enterprise collaboration platform under ByteDance. From 2020, Liang Rubo will be responsible for the group’s human resources and management.
Liang Rubo is the founder of Douyin Short Video. In addition, he has multiple identities: co-founder of Weijing Video, executive director of Lemon Browser, general manager of Oriental IC, R&D director of Toutiao, technical director of Toutiao, and senior R&D manager of Jiujiufang.
In March 2021, Zhang Yiming and Liang Rubo returned to the birthplace of ByteDance: a private house in Jinqiu Homestead on Zhichun Road, Haidian District, Beijing. At the beginning of the business, the living room was used as an office, and the “meeting room” was only five square meters, but for Zhang Yiming and Liang Rubo, the space was tangible and the dream was infinite: “I never thought that our office conditions would be a problem, the key is to create something of value.”