(Yicai Global) Feb. 27 -- Xiaomi has promoted the head of its artificial intelligence and cloud platform team to vice president and chairman of the group's technical committee as the world's fourth-largest smartphone maker takes further steps to transform itself into an AI-driven company.
The personnel shakeup that elevated Cui Baoqiu is the fourth in six months and the biggest since Xiaomi formed organization and staff departments last September. The Beijing-based company also named 14 general managers and deputy general managers to core managerial positions, it said yesterday.
Recruited by founder and Chief Executive Lei Jun in 2012, Cui set up Xiaomi's AI and cloud platform team. Cui believes the company should become an AI and Big Data enterprise. By tapping him as technical committee leader, Lei hopes to strengthen the group's technical and engineering culture.
Lei pointed out at an internal meeting that Xiaomi will continue to raise the strategic status of technology and increase its efforts to recruit, train, appoint and motivate technical professionals, an insider told Yicai Global.
Xiaomi also split its AI and cloud platform team into three separate units for AI, Big Data and cloud, and gave a leg up to a group of its young technical and management professionals. According to Cui, Xiaomi has three advantages in AI: hardware, powerful data access and a broad and deep ecological chain positioning.
Lei announced the start of Xiaomi's dual-focus strategy of Mobile + AIoT, meaning Al plus Internet of Things, at its annual conference in January, saying it will be the group's main plan for the next five years and the company will pour more than CNY10 billion (USD1.49 billion) into AI and IoT.
Cui, a doctor of computer science who graduated from the State University of New York, has worked for International Business Machines, Yahoo and Linkedin, where he did research, development and management in areas such as databases, search engines, machine learning, Big Data and social networks, public information shows.
He initiated the set up of Mi Cloud, an Apple iCloud-like personal data center for Xiaomi phone users. He also established Mi Integration Cloud and Mi Eco Cloud to provide storage and computing services for the company's internal teams and ecological chain partners.