Tiktok expands local content team with Felicity McVay and Simon Bates

Tiktok has added two senior appointments to its local content team, tasking them with driving content, culture and creativity for the platform across Australia and New Zealand.

Former Youtube and Google exec Felicity McVay joins as director of content and partnerships, while MTV APAC’s Simon Bates takes on the role of director of content programming.

McVay was formerly head of Youtube content partnerships for ANZ and head of Google Play movies and TV partnerships for APAC. Most recently, she was working with FINCH as a strategy consultant.

In her new role at Tiktok, McVay will nurture creator opportunities and build support for communities across key verticals including LGBTQIA, sports and fitness, fashion and beauty, and education and science.

Bates was formerly vice president, head of MTV APAC and had worked for ViacomCBS for eight years. Prior to that, he was the marketing director of the Sydney Morning Herald.

Working closely with McVay, Bates will lead the programming, promotion and curation of Tiktok content, such as the Discover page and live video and hashtags, helping users explore and find new content.

Lee Hunter, GM of Tiktok’s ANZ content and operation division, said he was delighted to add the two roles to Tiktok’s local team.

“Each appointment is strategic by nature, to ensure we can continue to grow and nurture the amazing content from our Aussie and Kiwi Tiktok community. Our new leaders bring a wealth of expertise in celebrating creativity, culture and diversity and I’m looking forward to further building the team out to support them in embedding Tiktok at the heart of local culture.”

Bates said of his appointment: “I’m inspired by innovation, content, talent, music and entertainment. Tiktok is all of those things and more. The platform is connecting with huge numbers of Australians and New Zealanders, and showcasing these incredible creators to a global audience. It’s the most disruptive, creative and immersive platform, and I’m stoked to be a part of it.”

McVay said: “Tiktok has dramatically changed the short-form video space. It’s generated new memes, disrupted pop culture and catapulted new talent into our everyday and I was determined to not miss out on that journey. I’m super excited to work with local creators on the platform to develop their content to reach new audiences. We have some really talented, distinctive creators in Australia and New Zealand and my team is focused on ensuring that they are seen and heard on the world stage.”

Tiktok has very quickly grown its local team since opening a local office three months ago. Triple J’s Ollie Wards joined as director of music last month and the platform announced three new hires to the commercial side of its business two weeks ago.


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