Baidu COO Lu Qi Steps Down, Wang Haifeng takes over AI projects

Baidu Inc. COO Lu Qi has resigned and will no longer serve his current position after July 2018.

Due to “personal and family reasons,” Lu Qi will leave all his active management roles but stay as vice-chairman on the company board.

Lu Qi joined Baidu after the China’s search engine giant suffered troubled times in 2016. Second to only Robin Li, the founder and CEO of the company, Lu Qi began to play active roles in managing many key projects since March 2017.

After Lu carried out a series of management reshuffles, including the switch of its core business to AI projects and the incorporation of its research institution. Baidu stock price began to surge since early July 2017 and by the end of Q3 in 2017, their stock price had increased by 50 percent.

“I feel privileged to have participated in Baidu‘s overall transition to AI. I believe Baidu will continue to follow this path and lead the industry,” said Lu Qi, who prior to Baidu worked at Microsoft and Yahoo.

He said in a statement that, in addition to taking care of his family in the US, he “plans to work in research and investment areas, to help advance our shared mission to make a complex world simpler through technology.”

Wang Haifeng
Wang Haifeng

As Lu Qi is leaving the company, vice president Wang Haifeng will now oversee the company’s AI projects. Wang has been with Baidu for eight years and became a vice president in 2013.

Wang will also oversee the company’s efforts in machine learning, big data, computer vision, natural language processing, speech technology, knowledge graph, robotics and augmented reality.