More Tudou staff may follow chief out the door

PUBLISHED : Monday, 16 July, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 16 July, 2012, 12:00am


The resignation of Tudou's chief operating officer may trigger more people to leave the video website, industry experts say.

Tudou on Tuesday confirmed Wang Xiangyun's (pictured) departure. She is the first senior executive to leave the company since it merged with another big mainland video site, Youku, in March.

'The two companies used to be rivals but are now one company. There are inevitably some overlapping departments,' said Hong Bo, a Beijing-based IT commentator.

'Even [Gary] Wang Wei, the chief executive of Tudou, could possibly leave as the new company can't have two CEOs.'

The two video-sharing websites will be maintained, but the overlapping management will inevitably be pared back. 'Many other Tudou employees will leave,' he said.

Hong said the two companies had different cultures - Youku, under the leadership of chief executive Victor Koo, was the more slick operation, while Tudou focused more on self-generated content. 'The fact that Youku merged with Tudou means there is a higher likelihood of Tudou staff leaving,' Hong said.

Alex Mou, the chief executive of internet software and analysis firm Zuosa, agreed. He said Wang's departure would likely prompt others to follow her out the door.

'It is typical in many companies that when a senior figure leaves, their staff leave, too,' he said.

But he said it was unclear whether Tudou's chief executive would be affected by the changes. 'Decisions on which positions to get rid of will depend on the needs of the Youku-Tudou alliance - not office politics.'

Wang joined Tudou in 2007 as vice-president in charge of sales and marketing. She was appointed chief marketing officer in March 2010 and promoted to COO in October 2010.

Tudou said Wang was leaving the company for personal reasons and did not say where she was going.

Shares in both US-traded Chinese firms stumbled at the news, with Nasdaq-listed Tudou falling to US$29.33 when the announcement was made on Tuesday from US$30.75. New York Stock Exchange-listed Youku dropped to US$19.07 from US$20.09 on Tuesday. Tudou closed at US$29.02 on Friday, up 2.69 per cent, and Youku ended up 2.27 per cent at US$18.92. In March, Youku hit US$31.85 and Tudou US$42.50 on the merger news.