Baidu, China’s answer to search engine giant Google, has got two new prolific personalities on board. Uber’s former chief financial officer, Brent Callinicos, and Lenovo’s current chairman and chief executive, Yuanqing Yang will be joining .
Uber’s former CFO’s switch to Baidu does not come as surprise — the search engine shares a prospective partnership with the taxi aggregator that grants the latter, access Baidu’s 300 million maps users.
The newest entrants are poised to take the company to newer heights and also strength its offline to online (O2O) services in the process. O2O has been an ambitious target for Baidu ever since June this year as it publicized its investment plans of $3.2 billion into its O2O. Its other homegrown competitors like Alibaba and social networking powerhouse Tencent are also pushing their stack of cash towards O2O.
Not waiting to fall back, Baidu launched a new AI-powered virtual assistant that will assist its mobile search app in O2O-related voice searches.
Callinicos’ earlier stint at Google as the vice president will come in handy as it takes the top slot of a highly restricted domain in China. He has also served as the chief financial officer at Microsoft’s platforms and services division for over ten years. Though he bid adieu to Uber, he continues to helm the role of an advisor at Uber. Same goes for Yang, who will also continue his position of the chairman and chief executive at Lenovo