Baidu Inc (ADR) (NASDAQ:BIDU) has announced that the chief financial officer, Jennifer Li will be stepping down for a new post in the company.
Impact on the company
This is the latest top profile personnel change as the company seeks to match up with rivals in the market including Tencent and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (NYSE:BABA) in the fast developing internet economy.
Recently Baidu lost their chief scientist Andrew Ng, a move that was considered a major setback to the company in its hope to explore in the artificial intelligence in the development of new business ventures. Wang Jin also left the company shortly after Ng. Jin was the head of the driverless car division in Baidu.
The change in management came after the founder and the Chief Executive Robin Li made a decision to bring in Qi Lu, a former executive at Microsoft as president with the responsibilities for the daily management at the company.
Ms Li’s departure was publicly announced while the company was reporting their earnings after the market close on Thursday. The stock of the company closed up $187.86 after a rise $1.19 or 0.64%.
Li will serve at the company as the chief executive in Baidu Capital which is the investment arm introduced last fall. The unit was meant to manage a fund of around $3 billion and concentrate on late stage technology bids ranging around $50 million and $100 million.
Li joined Baidu in 2008. Before that she served for more than 15 years in General Motors Co. Her experience is expected to impact positively on the assets of Baidu Capital. This is a diminishing role for her as she has experienced her portfolio shrink year after year. Her responsibilities have continuously been assigned to other executives as reported by people knowledgeable of the situation. Li was not available for comment.
Ma Dongmin, Li’s spouse joined the company again as a special assistant. The company is enhancing efforts in commercializing their voice recognition and the autonomous car units. It is also expanding their search traffic through introduction of voice and image search.