Sandie Hawkins, a former Adobe executive, joined TikTok as its new advertising chief in the United States.
Hawkins, who was named gm of global business solutions for the social video app and parent company ByteDance, previously was vp and head of Americas for Adobe Advertising Cloud and CRO at digital media consultancy Varick.
Hawkins, who officially started in late June as the first person in the role, will report to Blake Chandlee, TikTok’s vp of global business solutions in North America and Europe.
TikTok, which recently rebranded its ad offering as TikTok for Business, presented at the Digital Content NewFronts for the first time in June and rolled out its self-serve ad platform to all businesses earlier this month.
Hawkins’ appointment is the latest in a series of executive hires for TikTok. Since the start of 2020, the company has hired Michael Beckerman from the Internet Association to lead government relations, Nick Tran from Hulu to head marketing in North America and Kevin Mayer from Disney to be its new CEO.
All of this comes as TikTok finds itself in the unprecedented position of being the first social media company to present a serious challenge to Facebook and YouTube in years, boasting unprecedented growth and cultural staying power in the United States. But it also faces a severe regulatory threat from the Trump administration, which is looking to “ban” it (though an outright ban is legally impossible) under national security and privacy pretenses. ByteDance’s hiring of top American executives, especially Mayer, could help with a forthcoming legal battle over any regulatory action, experts told Adweek recently.
In a statement provided to Adweek by a spokesperson, Hawkins said it is a “pivotal point in the company’s trajectory” but stuck to TikTok’s sure strength—its product.
“TikTok is a platform designed to inspire rich storytelling experiences, and for brands, this opens a new window of opportunity to create content that includes them in cultural moments, inviting the community in and encouraging their participation,” she said.
The app’s surging popularity has brought increased attention from advertisers looking to capitalize on TikTok mania. But, the company has struggled to provide measurement and targeting in the past. At a time when companies are reevaluating their relationship with Facebook and Instagram, Hawkins and her team are tasked with making TikTok a brand-safe, cost0effective and meaningful place for brands to connect with audiences.