How TikTok's Vanessa Pappas Pushed the Platform Not Just to Survive, but to Thrive

Adweek's 2021 Digital Executive of the Year led growth despite the Trump administration's efforts to ban it

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For some people who ascend to the C-suite, the journey is a smooth one. For Vanessa Pappas, chief operating officer of TikTok, the opposite is true.

Pappas joined TikTok in December 2018 as general manager, U.S., after nearly eight years with YouTube, and was then elevated to general manager for North America, Australia and New Zealand in July 2019. But it was a little over a year later when things really started to get interesting.




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This story first appeared in the Oct. 25, 2021, issue of Adweek magazine. Click here to subscribe.