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TikTok’s head of EMEA marketing Richard Waterworth has been promoted to UK general manager, a role giving him full responsibility for the social media firm’s UK operations.

Waterworth has been at TikTok for just over five months following a near nine-year stint at YouTube, where he led EMEA marketing. Prior to that he was director of platform marketing at ITV for four years.

In the general manager role he will continue to oversee TikTok’s marketing until a successor is appointed. This includes a major brand campaign fronted by David Beckham, set to go live next week.

Alex Zhu, president of TikTok, said: "Since TikTok launched in the market in 2018, we are encouraged to see how it has become the platform of choice for creators and brands looking for a new way to express themselves. The UK is one of our most important markets and we have been growing and investing in our local business and team here since day one. Richard has already made a huge impact on our company in a very short space of time and combined with his deep industry expertise, I am confident that he is the right person to lead the UK business into its next phase of growth." 

TikTok has recently appointed general managers in key markets, including the US and India, where it’s focusing on strengthening the local product experience in 2020.

The Chinese-owned company was recently valued at $75bn but has yet to introduce a formal advertising product on to the site. However, brands have been experimenting with the platform, despite well publicised brand safety issues earlier this year.

Waterworth said that TikTok has been “exponential growth” in the UK market.

“In my first few months at the company, I've been blown away by the diversity, innovation and scale of our business here and that has reinforced to me that there is nothing else quite like TikTok,” he added of his appointment. “I'm truly excited by the opportunity to lead such a dynamic local business and a growing team of talent as we look to further enhance the TikTok experience for our user community."