Shou Zi Chew, the current CEO of TikTok, has an estimated net worth of $500 million as of 2023. He was born on January 1, 1983, in Singapore to parents who worked in construction and bookkeeping. From a young age, Chew demonstrated academic excellence, attending the prestigious Hwa Chong Institution high school in Singapore where he participated in extracurricular activities and served as a commissioned officer in the Singapore Armed Forces.
After completing his mandatory 2 years of national service in Singapore, Chew graduated in 2006 with a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from University College London. He then went on to earn his MBA from Harvard Business School in 2010, where he met his future wife Vivian Kao.
Chew began his career in the finance sector, working first as a banker at Goldman Sachs in London for 2 years. He then moved to the venture capital firm DST Global, founded by Russian billionaire Yuri Milner. At DST Global, Chew led key investments into major Chinese internet companies like JD.com, Alibaba, and Xiaomi. One of his most notable early investments was in ByteDance in 2013 when the company was still relatively small.
In 2015, Chew took on the role of CFO at the rapidly growing smartphone maker Xiaomi. As CFO, he helped guide Xiaomi’s expansion and grew the company into one of the world’s top smartphone vendors. In 2019, he also became President of Xiaomi’s international business unit, overseeing their push into new markets globally.
In March 2021, Chew returned to ByteDance, the parent company of TikTok, to become its CFO. Then in April 2021, he was appointed as TikTok’s CEO, replacing former head Kevin Mayer who had resigned. As CEO, Chew is responsible for TikTok’s overall strategy and operations worldwide.
Under Chew’s leadership over the past year, TikTok has achieved tremendous growth, now boasting over 1 billion monthly active users globally. It has become one of the most downloaded apps in the U.S., Europe, India, and other major markets. Chew has also led TikTok to launch new features and platforms like TikTok for Business, TikTok Creator Fund, and TikTok Resumes.
Chew has successfully navigated TikTok through ongoing challenges posed by regulatory bodies in the U.S. and elsewhere related to data security and privacy concerns. He has focused on enhancing trust and transparency around how TikTok handles user data.
Leadership Style & Personality
Despite his major success and net worth, those who know Chew describe him as humble, low-key, and preferring to avoid the limelight. He remains laser-focused on TikTok’s growth rather than flaunting his own wealth or success.
Chew is also known for his calm leadership style and ability to bring out the best in his teams. He places emphasis on leading by example, communicating, and clearly articulating strategic visions for companies he has managed.
Outside of work, Chew enjoys sports like soccer, basketball, golf, skiing, and spending time with his family. He has two young children with his wife Vivian, who he met while at Harvard Business School. They currently reside in Singapore but travel frequently.
At just 40 years old, Chew has many years ahead to leave his mark in the technology and internet space. His career trajectory thus far reveals his keen instincts for investing early in promising startups and his talent for scaling companies globally once in leadership roles.
TikTok has emerged as a dominant force in social media under Chew’s leadership, competing head-on with the likes of Instagram, Snapchat, and YouTube. The platform is loved by younger audiences drawn to its short form video content and algorithmic “For You” feeds. If Chew can guide TikTok to continued growth while satisfying data privacy concerns, his stature in the business world will only grow further.
With his experience, acumen, and relative youth on his side, Chew has the potential to rank among the top tech CEOs of his generation. The name Shou Zi Chew will likely become more widely known beyond just TikTok circles in the years to come.
Chew is estimated to have a net worth of about $500 million, according to some sources. This is based on his salary and bonuses from ByteDance and TikTok, as well as his stakes in Xiaomi and other companies he has invested in. Chew is known to be humble and low-key about his wealth and lifestyle. He prefers to focus on his work and family rather than flaunting his success.