Dr. Qi Lu, former Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) executive has been appointed the group president and chief operating officer of Baidu Inc (ADR)(NASDAQ:BIDU). Having led Microsoft’s Office business, Lu will now be expected to drive to better levels the business of the Chinese search giant. He takes up the responsibility of the organization’s products, technology, sales, marketing, and operations. An e-mailed statement by Baidu states that Lu, who was also once the senior vice president in charge of search and advertising technologies atahoo! Inc.(NASDAQ:YHOO) will take up his new post with immediate effect.
In emphasizing that the company was taking the right direction, Baidu chairman and group CEO Robin Li said, “Dr. Lu possesses a wealth of leadership and management experience, and is a leading authority in the area of artificial intelligence. I am confident that Dr. Lu will make major contributions to the overall strength of our management and technology.”
Artificial intelligence is Baidu’s strategic focus for the next decade
The world is currently revolving around enhanced technology. AI being one of them, Baidu’s billionaire founder, Robin Li says that it is important to refocus on enhancing the same. After all, their rivals the likes of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (NYSE:BABA) are already striving to take control of the internet advertising business. The company regard as AI development fundamental to its future and Li has flagged it as the next key profit driver for the business.
Nonetheless, he is optimistic that Dr. Lu will help in executing the company’s strategy and push Baidu to become a world-class technology company.
But Dr. Lu has not had it all smooth at Microsoft
Dr. Lu’s appointment comes at a time when Baidu is pulling off from a turbulent year, which involved online medical ads. This triggered tighter restrictions by the government as well as constriction of its ad business. On the other hand, Lu’s stewardship at Microsoft was also criticized as a result of the coming missing out on some of the biggest trends in technology. Its Bing search engine never managed to make much headway against Google’s.
Nonetheless, Li notes that to achieve its goals, Baidu will continue to attract the best global talent especially in the area of artificial intelligence. Meanwhile, Baidu’s stock closed at $176.48 a fall of $1.09 or 0.61%.