Kevin Mayer in Talks to Join Skydance Investor RedBird Capital

Kevin Mayer is honored at the CoachArt Gala  - Getty-H 2019
Joshua Blanchard/Getty Images

The former TikTok CEO is nearing an agreement to join Gerry Cardinale's investment firm.

Recently departed  TikTok CEO Kevin Mayer is in advanced talks to join investment firm RedBird Capital, according to a source familiar with the situation.

The move would put Mayer, formerly chairman of Disney's direct-to-consumer business, at a company that has made investments across the sports, media and entertainment sectors. It signals that RedBird founder Gerry Cardinale — who through his firm led a $275 million investment in David Ellison's Skydance Media in February — is looking to increase his holdings in media and entertainment.

Mayer, who spent much of his career working under Bob Iger at Disney, was a key architect of the entertainment giant's deals to acquire Marvel, Pixar and 21st Century Fox. When the company turned its attention to the creation of a streaming service, it was Mayer whom Iger tapped to lead the newly created direct-to-consumer and international division. Under his leadership, Disney orchestrated the launch fo Disney+, which netted more than 50 million subscribers in its first five months.

After he was passed over for the role of Disney CEO — a job that Iger ultimately handed to Bob Chapek — Mayer left the company to become CEO of TikTok, the fast-growing social video app. But his tenure at the company was short lived. As ByteDance faced increased pressure this summer from the Trump administration to sell TikTok's U.S. business, Mayer announced that he would be stepping down from his role. In a letter to employees sent in late August, he explained that the he made the decision after it became apparent that his role as global TikTok chief and ByteDance chief operating officer would be diminished by a sale.

A spokeswoman for Mayer declined to comment on his talks with RedBird, which were first reported by the New York Times.

At the investment firm, he would join Cardinale, a former Goldman Sachs executive who co-created the YES regional sports network nearly two decades ago. The investment firm's website says it manages $4 billion in assets. RedBird was an investor in the NFL's On Location Experiences, which Endeavor acquired in January. Earlier this year, RedBird teamed up with Dwayne Johnson and Dany Garcia to purchase the XFL assets for $15 million.