(Yicai Global) May 31 -- Baidu has appointed Wang Haifeng, the head of the Chinese internet giant's artificial intelligence and technology groups, as its new chief technology officer, the latest in a string of top management changes at the firm.
Dr. Wang is a renowned scientist in the field of natural language processing, and was the first Chinese in the 50-year history of the Association for Computational Linguistics, the world's most influential academic body in the sector, to serve as its president. He was also the ACL's youngest fellow.
Wang joined Baidu in January 2010 and set up many departments including for NLP and for the research and development of internet data, the Beijing-based company said in a statement. Baidu founder Robin Li made the announcement about Wang's promotion today.
Baidu's management lineup is being shaken up. Xiang Hailong, former senior vice president and ex-president of its search engine business, resigned on May 17 after the company announced first-quarter earnings. Baidu has already promoted or brought on board nine executives in the past year, including Shen Dou, senior vice president of the mobile ecological group and Jing Kun, vice president of its smart living group.
Wang's appointment aims to further build and consolidate the company's core technological advantages, improve product quality and user experience, unleash the technological bonus and continuously promote the sector's smart reforms, the statement said.
Earlier this month, Baidu reported a net loss of CNY327 million (USD47.4 million) for the first three months of this year, its first since listing in 2005. Revenue rose 15 percent to CNY24.1 billion (USD3.49 billion) in the quarter.
Shares of Baidu [NASDAQ:BIDU] have fallen about 60 percent from a 52-week high of USD274 each. In pre-market trading today, the stock was 1.7 percent lower at USD109.90 as of 5.47 a.m. in New York.
The only way to deal with this is by innovating, especially tech innovation, Li said in the press release.