Chinese Search Giant Baidu Loses CTO Unexpectedly
China's largest search engine, Baidu, lost its second major executive in 2010 when its chief technology officer, Li Yinan, quit Monday for "personal reasons" following the exodus of the chief operating officer on January 8th for the same stated reasons.
Speculation about the CTO's departure range from the "Iranian Cyber Army" attack perpetrated last week, to the failure to roll out a desperately needed feature to separate sponsored searches from normal ones, to some unknown connection to Google's threatened departure from the market.
If Baidu's business troubles are deeper than previously suspected, it makes Google's latest international saber-rattling even more curious. Leaving the lucrative Chinese search market during a moment of weakness for their competitor would seem poor timing despite concerns about espionage through hacking by the Chinese government.