Microsoft China president and general manager Jack Gao has resigned after two years in the posts, becoming the latest in a line of executives to take an early exit as the head of the software company's mainland operations. Mr Gao was Microsoft China's sixth general manager in seven years when he took over in early 2000. A brief statement from the company said he had resigned to pursue opportunities elsewhere. In June 1999, Mr Gao's high-profile predecessor, Juliet Wu Shihong, left and published a bitter book accusing Microsoft of being interested only in the bottom line and lacking proper understanding and respect for China. Mr Gao is the second senior manager to resign from Microsoft's Greater China region recently. Graham Brant, former head of the Hong Kong office, left late last year to start his own software firm, saying Microsoft had lost its innovative edge and was no longer as good a company to work for as it once was. Alexander Huang, regional director of Microsoft Greater China region, will assume the day-to-day management of Microsoft China until a new general manager is appointed. The company employs more than 800 workers in the mainland. Mr Huang said: 'Jack has been a valued member of our team. We are thankful to him for having led Microsoft China over the past two years, during which the subsidiary scored high growth and built great partnerships with many Chinese organisations.' Mr Gao is a mainland-born United States citizen who was trained in rocket science and received a doctoral degree in engineering from UCLA. Microsoft has faced serious challenges in the mainland market, including hostility from the Government and press resulting from the company's US roots and its refusal to release its source code for official inspection. The company also continues to suffer from rampant software piracy that has resulted in the vast majority of the Microsoft applications in use being illegal copies. 'We have millions of millions of users but fewer customers,' Mr Gao said in an interview last year.