Google Executive to Quit

09/04/09

Permalink 03:18:41 pm, by chinajob Email , 332 words, 1101 views   English (US)
Categories: Leaders on the Move

Google Executive to Quit

Google Inc. announced that Kai-Fu Lee, president of Google Inc.'s China operations, is resigning from the company after working for years to establish the Internet giant as a formidable player in the country.

Mr. Lee will be succeeded by two Google executives, the company said. Boon-Lock Yeo, currently director of Google's Shanghai engineering office, will run engineering for Google China. John Liu, who currently leads Google's sales team in greater China, will assume Mr. Lee's business and operational responsibilities.

Mr. Lee left Microsoft Corp. to join Google in 2005 to develop the company's operations in China, where Google was later than some of its rivals to establish a beachhead.

Mr. Lee's hiring kicked off a legal battle between Microsoft and Google. Microsoft, alleging Mr. Lee violated his employment contract, filed suit against Google. Google countersued, accusing Microsoft of "a shocking display of hubris," according to court documents. The companies settled privately in 2005.

Google said Mr. Lee is leaving to work on his own venture. "With a very strong leadership team in place, it seemed a very good moment for me to move to the next chapter in my career," Mr. Lee said in a statement.

During Mr. Lee's tenure, usage of Google products, including its search service, has grown among Chinese users. The company has also launched some products unique to the market, including an online music service. In announcing Mr. Lee's departure, Google said it was nearly doubling the size of its sales force in China in response to strong growth.

But Google continues to confront a range of headaches in China, which, as the country with the largest number of Internet users, is critical to its growth. Google still trails Chinese search leader Baidu by a wide margin. In the second quarter of 2009, Google drew around 20% of Chinese Internet searches, compared with Baidu's 76%, according to iResearch, an Internet research concern

Google has also continued to clash with Chinese authorities, who have selectively blocked services such as its video-sharing site, YouTube.

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