Baidu, China’s dominant search engine, hired former Microsoft executive Qi Lu as its group president and COO.
Lu, who has already taken up the new position, was head of Microsoft’s artificial intelligence (AI) and bots projects, which were initiated by Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, Bloomberg reported.
All Baidu business unit heads will report to Lu, who also previously led Microsoft’s Office and search groups.
Baidu founder Robin Li is looking to AI to drive growth in the future, but faces strong competition from a number of rivals including e-commerce giant Alibaba, which is investing heavily in AI initiatives.
Baidu on Monday launched an augmented reality (AR) lab in Beijing with 55 employees as part of a $200 million effort to turn around its falling profits with cutting edge technology, Reuters reported.