Female ex-exec told she lacked “docility and meekness” sues TikTok

Enlarge (credit: ROSLAN RAHMAN / Contributor | AFP)

One of TikTok’s senior-most female executives, Katie Ellen Puris, is suing TikTok and its owner ByteDance, alleging wrongful termination based on age and sex discrimination.

In her complaint filed Thursday, Puris accused ByteDance chairman Lidong Zhang of aggressively forcing her out of the company because she “lacked the docility and meekness specifically required of female employees.” She also alleged experiencing retaliation after reporting sexual harassment to the company.

Puris joined TikTok in December 2019 as managing director and US head of business marketing. Previously, she’d led global marketing initiatives for Google and Facebook. TikTok appeared to value this experience and promoted her within two months to lead its global business marketing team. In this role, she launched TikTok for Business and meaningfully shaped how businesses interact with the platform.

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