Chinese internet giant Baidu names former Weibo executive as its new finance officer

Herman Yu will replace Jennifer Li, who has moved to a new role heading a Baidu private equity firm that will focus on AI investments

PUBLISHED : Monday, 18 September, 2017, 1:39pm
UPDATED : Monday, 18 September, 2017, 1:39pm

Chinese internet giant Baidu has appointed Herman Yu, a former executive of the Nasdaq-listed, Twitter-like service operator Weibo Corp, as its chief financial officer, effective immediately.

Yu replaces Jennifer Li, who is stepping down as CFO after nine years to head Baidu Capital, a private equity firm focused on artificial intelligence (AI) opportunities.

“Herman brings invaluable financial management, capital market and leadership experience, having served as CFO of US-listed internet companies for 10 years, as well as having held management roles at high tech companies in both the US and China,” said Robin Li, Baidu’s chairman and chief executive, in a statement on Sunday.

“I look forward to working with Herman in his new capacity, as Baidu enters the next stage of growth in the AI era.”

Baidu’s seismic shift towards AI must start delivering the goods

Baidu, which runs China’s leading internet search engine, is trying to remake itself into an AI company. In January, it appointed Lu Qi, a leading AI expert and former Microsoft executive, as its chief operating officer, part of a string of management changes to reinforce its efforts in AI.

The Beijing-based company already uses AI in products including search and financial services, and has been looking to expand to other AI are such as self-driving cars.

Li, whose change of role was announced in April, will continue as a senior adviser to the company, Baidu said.