Former Microsoft executive and noted AI expert Qi Lu joins Baidu as COO
The Korea IT Times releases a transcript of article by TechCrunch. The article explains China’s internet giant Baidu has beefed up on its AI talent after it announced the hiring of former Microsoft executive Qi Lu as group president and COO. Dr. Lu reported directly to Microsoft Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer. Dr. Qi Lu has also served as executive vice president of engineering for Search and Advertising Technology
Chinese search giant Baidu is looking to further entrench itself in the world of augmented reality, announcing that it is establishing an AR lab to research and build experiences that more tightly integrate the digital experiences we have on our devices with the world around us.
The institution is the fourth such lab to be established under the Baidu Research division, joining the company’s Big Data Lab, Silicon Valley Lab and the Institute of Deep Learning, which the AR Lab is spinning out from. In September, the company unveiled a $200 million venture fund focused on making investments in companies focusing on artificial intelligence and augmented reality.
Just a day after it opened an augmented reality lab, China’s internet giant Baidu has beefed up on its AI talent after it announced the hiring of former Microsoft executive Qi Lu as group president and COO.
Baidu is best known for its search engine, which dominates in China, but over the past two years it has put focus on developing artificial intelligence, which includes self-driving cars and more. In that respect, the hiring of Lu — who exited Microsoft last year on medical grounds — is a major coup.
Lu most recently ran Microsoft’s applications and services business, and previously headed up the Redmond-based company’s search division having joined in 2009 following an 11-year stint with Yahoo. Fun fact: While with Microsoft, he championed a bid for Slack, but ultimately CEO Satya Nadella and co-founder Bill Gates decided against it.
At Baidu, Lu will be responsible for products, technology, sales, marketing and operations, and particularly lend his expertise to the company’s AI push.
Lu, who holds a PhD in computer science from Carnegie Mellon and has over 40 U.S. patents in his name, joins a team that includes former Coursera chairman Andrew Ng, who is chief scientist at the Baidu Research center in Silicon Valley.
“Dr. Lu possesses a wealth of leadership and management experience, and is a leading authority in the area of artificial intelligence,” Baidu chairman and CEO Robin Li said in a statement.
“To achieve our goals, especially in artificial intelligence, which is a key strategic focus for the next decade, we will need to continue attracting the best global talent. With Dr. Lu on board, we are confident that our strategy will be executed smoothly and Baidu will become a world-class technology company and global leader in AI,” Li added.