TikTok parent ByteDance names former Warner Bros. legal chief as new GC

John Rogovin replaces Erich Anderson, who moves to a special counsel role amid a potential US ban on TikTok

New GC appointment comes as TikTok faces US ban unless non-Chinese buyer is found DANIEL CONSTANTE / Shutterstock.com

TikTok’s parent company ByteDance has named John Rogovin as global general counsel, replacing Erich Anderson who announced in April that he would be stepping down this month to take up a special counsel role at the company.

Rogovin has been running his own consultancy company since January last year after leaving his previous GC role at Warner Bros. in 2022. The ByteDance role will also include oversight of TikTok, which faces a potential ban in the US amid concerns about the security of user data and the company’s links to the Chinese government. 

New legislation passed in the US will give ByteDance nine months to sell the app to a non-Chinese company, extended by three months if a sale is in progress. If no buyer is found by then, TikTok will be banned in the US.

China-based ByteDance owns video-sharing app TikTok and other brands such as video editing app CapCut and virtual reality headset-maker Pico Interactive.

Liang Rubo, CEO of ByteDance, said: “[Rogovin] joins us with vast experience and expertise from his roles in public service, law firms and as a leader in the entertainment industry. He brings strong legal instinct and a track record of successfully leading global teams that I know we will benefit from greatly as a company.”

Rogovin spent roughly 14 years at Warner Bros., overseeing the company’s global legal matters, including intellectual property, litigation, privacy, compliance, regulatory enforcement and M&A. He departed shortly after WarnerMedia’s £43bn merger with Discovery.

Prior to joining Warner Bros. he spent three years as a partner at WilmerHale in Washington DC and four years as GC at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) before that. Earlier in his career he was a partner at O’Melveny & Myers and a deputy assistant attorney general at the US Department of Justice.

He said: “I am incredibly excited to be joining this world-class team and look forward to helping to ensure that our platforms continue to provide a critical forum for more than two billion users worldwide to entertain, teach and connect with one another.”

Anderson, meantime, was appointed special counsel to focus on the company’s efforts to fight back against the legislation that would force it to sell TikTok. Anderson originally joined ByteDance in 2020 from Microsoft, where most recently he was chief IP counsel. He was previously an attorney at Davis Wright Tremaine.

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