Liang Rubo: The ‘executor’ and former roommate of Zhang Yiming, ready to take over as CEO at ByteDance

By searching the name of Liang Rubo in Google, little can be found about this low-key ByteDance co-founder. Well, we got you covered.

In 2002, Zhang Yimin, then a Nankai University student, had his desktop computer tower stolen. He asked his roommate whether he would like to buy a new tower to make a new desktop and use it with the monitor left. The roommate agreed, and the two became friends while sharing the same desktop.

Almost twenty years later, in 2021, Zhang is asking once again his former roommate to share a “desktop” with him. This time though, the responsibility goes far beyond sharing a computer, as Zhang is handing over a USD 400 billion company to his trusted long-time roommate, friend, and colleague, Liang Rubo. (Where did you get this anecdote? An interview by Zhang? etc? media reports, none of them provide a source of info for this anecdote)

Until now, the name of Liang Rubo has someway slipped under the radar. Also a co-founder of ByteDance (together with how many people? – couldn’t find info on this), he led the development of a couple of the company’s key products, including blockbuster short-video app Douyin, news aggregator Jinri Toutiao, as well as office collaboration platform Lark. He entered the core of Bytedance’s management architecture in 2019, when he was promoted as global head of HR at ByteDance.

Then, in a surprising announcement last week, through an internal memo, Zhang announced the designation of Liang as new CEO, in a time when ByteDance is preparing prepares for a massive initial public offering. The transition process for Liang to take the lead at ByteDance will last around six months, Zhang said.

“I lack some of the skills that make an ideal manager. I’m more interested in analyzing organizational and market principles, and leveraging these theories to further reduce management work, rather than actually managing people,” Zhang said about his resignation.

Following Zhang’s memo, Liang also wrote an internal email where he admitted the pressure of taking over ByteDance in this crucial moment.”I have always felt very lucky to be rooted in technology, product, and management because Yiming is in front of me to deal with the many difficulties and unexpected work,” Liang wrote.

“Now, for the long-term development of the company, Yiming needs to get out of the daily management and focus on the work that is not urgent but important to the development of the company, so as to create more possibilities. Therefore, I will take over his responsibilities as CEO,” he added.

(Anything more to close this quote? — umm dont know what do you need)

A trusted long-time partner

By searching the name of Liang Rubo in Google, or any other internet search engine, little can be found about this low-key ByteDance co-founder, except the May 20 promotion. However, among all the current top executives at ByteDance, Liang probably has known Zhang the longest.

The two first met in the dorm of Nankai University, back when they were still freshmen in college. They spent four years together, sharing the same desktop, studying computer science, and playing badminton and ping pong.

After graduation, Liang became an engineer in an electronic company in China while Zhang worked for a couple of startups. In 2009, the two crossed paths their careers intersected as Zhang received funds from an investor to create a real estate information platform. Liang was among the founding team. Liang was invited by Zhang to join his startup team, and he accepted it. (Mmm, then, they didn’t really just “crossed paths,” but were working together on the project of a  real estate information platform. Like, this project was co-founded only by them two or also by other people?)

By 2011, the two achieved small success as their app, named Jiujiufang, ranked as the most downloaded under its category of real estate in China market (What category?) Most downloaded where?. But Zhang wanted something bigger.

With the blueprint of an algorithm-backed news aggregator in hand (How they got this algorithm? Is this connected to Jiujiufang? Or just something they developed apart? Who developed it? – it’s not an algorithm… it’s a blueprint of Jinri Toutiao. Zhang developed it by himself–which later became the root of ByteDance’s first flagship app Jinri Toutiao–Zhang and Liang became roommates again. They rented an apartment in Zhongguancun, also known as China’s Silicon Valley, a district located northwest of Beijing.

During that period of time in 2012 (When, 2001, 20012, 20013?), they would work on Jiujiufang in the day, and develop Jinri Toutiao in the night.

The Information,, Fortune China, 36Kr,  analysis

Zhang (left) and Liang (right) revisited the apartment where they founded ByteDance, as part of a video for ByteDance’s seventh anniversary. Screenshot from the video.

In August 2012, ByteDance came to shape upon Jinri Toutiao’s launch. Zhang was the CEO, and Liang was the CTO. From then on, ByteDance entered into a fast expansion mood: the company has reportedly reached a USD 400 billion market cap in nine years, even surpassing that of many 500 companies such as Coca-Cola and Walmart.

In a video published by ByteDance upon their seventh anniversary in 2019, Zhang and Liang returned to the four-bedroom apartment to look back on their early days. Liang said to the camera that he would always remember one entrepreneurship value that Zhang taught him: “Always day one.” (…Meaning?) — to treat every day’s work like it’s the first day they entered the company.

An executor

While the popularity of ByteDance’s products Jinri Toutiao, Douyin, and TikTok took Zhang Yiming to the cover of many magazines worldwide, Liang Rubo stayed low-key.

Compared to many other top executives at ByteDance, whose images constantly show up in public materials, like Kelly Zhang, ByteDance China CEO, Zhang Lidong, the company’s monetization strategist, and Alex Zhu, founder of TikTok predecessor Musical.ly, who later joined ByteDance as? first as TikTok CEO, later as strategy & investment VP, Liang Rubo is indeed less-known to the public eye.

In fact, before the May 2021 promotion, Liang has never shown up alone in any media coverage, neither made any public appearance at public events (mmmm, you sure about this? Sounds like a bit too much? Maybe he did go to some events no? – he went to events or not i dont know, but what i meant by public appearance is that he never made public speeches or anything that left a record showcasing his ByteDance identity), even though he is “the co-founder of the company, head of product development at Bytedance, head of Lark and efficiency engineering unit, and head of human resources and management for the group,” according to Zhang’s resignation letter.

The only direct quote of Liang was found in a 2014 article by local news outlet iHeima, in which he was interviewed as Zhang Yiming’s university roommate, following Jinri Toutiao’s fundraising from Sequoia.

However, as CTO, Liang was behind the framework of many key products of ByteDance’s apps factory: Jinri Toutiao, Douyin, and Lark. Though the success of apps is usually the result of teamwork, Liang was never attributed for their breathtaking achievements, while CEOs like Kelly Zhang and Chen Lin took up the main page in most of the media reports.

According to an analysis by The Information, Liang wasn’t among the 14 executives that report directly to Zhang until 2019, when he took the lead as head of HR.

Graph– About Jiujiufang, if the two were co-founders, then why we say that Zhang started, instead of saying the two started? – i never said Liang was co-founder, Zhang received money from an investor to do it, he invited Liang to join the team

-Question, the position that he will take is ByteDance global CEO, (same you wrote about Zhang) or just CEO? – their letters only say Liang will be ByteDance CEO, global or not we dont know

The Information,, Fortune China, 36Kr,  analysis

An unexpected promotion, that makes sense

On March 12, 2020, ByteDance (ByteDance–I’ve fixed some others, but you need to remember this) launched the largest organizational restructuring since its founding. Kelly Zhang and Zhang Lidong were promoted to chairman and CEO respectively for ByteDance China, as Zhang Yiming himself vowed to spend time on the company’s global market.

After the adjustment, many were guessing, between Kelly Zhang and Zhang Lidong, who would become ByteDance’s second in command. Little attention was given to Liang, who was made the HR lead of the corporate.

A person close to ByteDance told Fortune China that for the past two years, Liang has been in charge of legal, internal communications, logistics, and human resources within ByteDance, serving not much as a product developer, but instead, as a “housekeeper for the corporate.”

However, (there’s no twist between the above line and this line)under Liang’s HR management, ByteDance expanded from 60,000 employees to 100,000 in one year (From when to when? – March 2020 to Q1 2021)

The Information,, Fortune China, 36Kr,  analysis

In the internal letter released on May 20, Zhang shared more details about the decision of handing his empire to Liang. “In March, I began discussing with a small group the possibility of having Rubo, the co-founder of ByteDance, taking over as CEO, and leveraging his strengths in management, organization, and social engagement. … Rubo previously helped me found another company, so we have worked together closely for many years,” he wrote.

“Since day 1, Rubo has been an invaluable partner—completing the coding for new systems, buying and installing servers, and developing key recruitment, corporate policies, and management systems, among a list of contributions too long to enumerate. Over the next six months, we will work side by side to ensure the smoothest possible transition, and I know you will all also support him,” reads the letter.

Looking back from now, it seems like the roles of Zhang Yiming and Liang Rubo have been decided since their early days. When ByteDance was just founded, Liang and Zhang would compete to memorize and recite (and speak out? Or what was the competition about?) the order of stations on their subway ride back from Tianjin, where their server was located, to Beijing, where they lived. Liang was usually faster, but Zhang was more accurate.

“It miraculously corresponds to the current roles of the two men: The executor and the thinker. One of them will be responsible to retain the ‘fast’ of ByteDance, by continuing the current expansion speed; while the other will be responsible for the ‘accurate’ part, making strategies for the next decade,” a 36Kr analysis commented. (Say the name of the guy, “in an article published by 36Kr — The article author commented this themselves, they didn’t site anyone).

Aaron Zhang contributed to this piece.

Internet Explorer Channel Network
News Related

OTHER NEWS

New US rules on spyware exports try to limit surveillance tech like Pegasus

The US Department of Commerce announced a new rule to prevent the sale of hacking tools to China and Russia, The Washington Post reports. The Commerce Department outlined the change ... Read more »

How to customize your iPhone's app icons

Have you ever wanted to make your iPhone your own, with your individualized style and flair? Sure, you can change your home screen wallpaper. But if you really want to ... Read more »

Vergecast: Apple and Google's competing events this week

Every Friday, The Verge publishes our flagship podcast, The Vergecast, where co-hosts Nilay Patel and Dieter Bohn discuss the week in tech news with the reporters and editors covering the ... Read more »

Tokyo 2020 Olympics suffered half a billion attempted cyberattacks

Whilst the Olympic Games were taking place in Tokyo earlier this year, another, huge competition was also taking place behind the curtain – between the organization’s 200-people strong cybersecurity team, ... Read more »

The 47 best gifts for couples that they'll both enjoy

— Recommendations are independently chosen by Reviewed’s editors. Purchases you make through our links may earn us a commission. Trying to pick out the perfect gift for your couple friends ... Read more »

A retail listing shows the specs of the Intel Core i9-12900K Alder Lake CPU

© Windows Central Intel Core i9-11900K review The specs of the upcoming Intel Core i9-12900K have appeared on a retail listing. What you need to know A retail listing reveals ... Read more »

Here's when you can start playing Age of Empires 4

© Provided by Windows Central Here’s when you can choose your civilization and begin gathering resources. At long last, Age of Empires 4 is on the way, soon to be ... Read more »

Not just Wix: Another Israeli Technology Enables No Coding Engagement Products

© Storycards Gil Rabbi, Co-Founder at Storycards Following the huge success of Wix in no-coding web design, another Israeli company, Storycards, led by engagement guru Gil Rabbi will bring no-coding ... Read more »

Human brain DECREASED in size 3,000 years ago, study finds

© Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo The size of the human brain has changed numerous times throughout human history, but the vital organ decreased approximately 3,000 years ago due ... Read more »

Rocket failure mars US hypersonic missile test

The Pentagon’s hypersonic weapon programs suffered a setback on Thursday when a booster rocket carrying a hypersonic weapon failed, people briefed on the test result said. © Andrey Rudakov /Bloomberg ... Read more »

The Navy released a scathing report about the fire on the USS Bonhomme Richard

This story originally published on Task & Purpose.​ © Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Christina Ross/U.S. Navy The Navy sailor who set the 2020 fire on the USS Bonhomme Richard ... Read more »

Get more done with 20% off HP's EliteOne 800 G6 all-in-one and other PCs

If you’re looking for a computer upgrade at work, HP has a few devices on sale right now that will definitely upgrade your office space. With the code HPEXCLUSIVETWENTYOFF, you ... Read more »

Twitter's algorithm favours right-leaning politics

© Getty Images Twitter amplifies tweets from right-leaning political parties and news outlets more than from the left, its own research suggests. The social-media giant said it made the discovery ... Read more »

Samsung's unique Frame TV is $500 off

Samsung’s The Frame doubles as both wall art and an HDR-compatible QLED TV. The television offers a decor-friendly design while also displaying customizable images when somebody’s in the room. When ... Read more »

Best Destiny 2 Exotic weapons and armor in 2021

© Provided by Windows Central These are the most powerful and efficient Exotics in the Destiny 2 sandbox. Exotics are the most powerful and unique items you can obtain in ... Read more »

Lukaku and Werner will miss Chelsea's next two games AT LEAST

© Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo Chelsea have been dealt a double injury blow ahead of this weekend’s clash with Norwich City, after Thomas Tuchel confirmed that they will ... Read more »

10 must-have plus-size clothes to buy from Old Navy

— Recommendations are independently chosen by Reviewed’s editors. Purchases you make through our links may earn us a commission. I have no qualms admitting it: I love Old Navy. More ... Read more »

UK households offered £5,000 grants to replace boilers with heat pumps

The government recently announced that it will provide £450 million in funding to encourage households in England and Wales to install electric heat pumps. Over the next three years, it’s ... Read more »

New Microsoft 365 service identifies privacy risk before it's too late

Microsoft has announced new controls for Microsoft 365 that will help customers manage privacy of their users in accordance with the local laws. © Provided by TechRadar A representational image ... Read more »

Xbox series X stock - live: AO restock sells out – here's who could drop next

LIVE – Updated at 14:00 © iStock/The Independent Xbox liveblog hero Update: Argos has restocked the Xbox series X for collection in specific stores. Enter your postcode to check your ... Read more »

NASA's Deep Space Food Challenge awards $450,000 to first-round winners

© Provided by Space NASA and the Canadian Space Agency have teamed up for the Deep Space Food Challenge, which aims to spur new ideas about how to feed astronauts ... Read more »

China, space junk and more: Senators voice spaceflight concerns

© Provided by Space Cosmonaut Oleg Novitsky shared this photo of the International Space Station on Twitter on Sept. 29, 2021. He and two colleagues were relocating a Russian Soyuz ... Read more »

Challenge for astronomy: Megaconstellations becoming the new light pollution

© Provided by Space An astronomical image marred by trails caused by satellites of SpaceX’s Starlink megaconstellation. Satellite megaconstellations are quickly becoming a serious problem to 21st century astronomy akin ... Read more »

NASA's James Webb Space Telescope will face '29 days on the edge' after launch (video)

© Provided by Space Artist’s illustration of the James Webb Space Telescope with its massive sunshield fully deployed. NASA’s newest space telescope will face 29 “harrowing” days after launch as ... Read more »

10 incredibly stylish clogs to wear this fall

— Recommendations are independently chosen by Reviewed’s editors. Purchases you make through our links may earn us a commission. Walk down the shoe aisle of a department store, open up ... Read more »

Sony's WH-1000XM4 headphones fall to $248, plus the rest of the week's best tech deals

This week brought our first official early Black Friday sale, courtesy of Best Buy. While we expect to see even more of these events before we hit Black Friday proper, ... Read more »

Best smart home devices 2021: automate your home with these gadgets

The best smart home device will ensure your property offers the perfect environment without you having to lift a finger. Whether you want the light dimmed to a certain level, ... Read more »

Trump's social network was defaced before it even launched

It took only a few hours for pranksters to find and deface a test version of former President Trump’s yet-to-launch social media platform called TRUTH Social. According to The Washington ... Read more »

The Verge Merch Store is back!

The Verge is celebrating its 10th birthday on November 1st, so we thought this would be the perfect occasion to relaunch our online merch store! Check out the store here. ... Read more »

Engadget Podcast: Apple's new MacBook Pros, the Pixel 6 and the Surface Duo 2

Techtober continues with a deep dive into Apple’s latest MacBook Pros, powered by the new M1 Pro and M1 Max chips. Cherlynn and Devindra also chat about what’s new with ... Read more »

Micro Center leaks specs and pricing for Intel's new Alder Lake Core i9 CPU

© Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge Even though someone managed to secure early purchases of a couple of Core i9-12900K CPUs, we still didn’t have detailed information about ... Read more »

Someone got their hands on the unannounced Intel Core i9-12900K CPU

The Intel Core i9-12900K hasn’t even been announced, but someone got their hands on a pair of them. © Provided by Windows Central What you need to know A Reddit ... Read more »

Everything you need to know about the new Surface Duo 2

© Windows Central Surface Duo 2 Hero Got questions? We’ve got answers! Microsoft’s Surface Duo 2 is now officially available. Just like last year, we’ve compiled a mega list of ... Read more »

Haunted Chocolatier looks like the perfect follow-up to Stardew Valley

The creator of Stardew Valley has announced the title of his next game: Haunted Chocolatier.  © Provided by TechRadar Haunted Chocolatier logo on a starry backbround In Haunted Chocolatier, you’ll ... Read more »

Fury over 'absurd' GP plans to 'STRIKE'

© Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo Doctors in England were today slammed for threatening industrial action over being ‘asked to do the very basics’ of their jobs, amid a ... Read more »

This Google Workspace update might finally help you be productive working from home

Making the distinction between work and personal apps should be more straightforward thanks to a new update coming to Google Workspace. © Provided by TechRadar laptops The online collaboration suite ... Read more »

Zenfolio is now offering its website builder service to UK photographers

Popular website builder for photographers, Zenfolio has launched a new platform for its UK clientele, six months after the company unveiled its new solution in the US. © Provided by ... Read more »

REvil ransomware gang taken offline by multinational effort

In a welcome move, sources have confirmed that the recent troubles plaguing the notorious REvil ransomware operator are the result of a concerted effort by various cybersecurity agencies. © Provided ... Read more »
On free-english-test.com you will find lots of free English exam practice materials to help you improve your English skills: grammar, listening, reading, writing, ielts, toeic