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Google China VP Poised To Jump Ship

Doug Caverly
Staff Writer
Published: 2006-12-08

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Only last week, the president of Yahoo China resigned. Now Johnny Chou, the vice president of Google China, is making a similar move. Chou has arranged to leave the company on December 31st.

According to a company statement (translated in a Forbes article by Shu-Ching Jean Chen), Chou made an "important contribution in setting up an excellent local management team." But Google doesn't seem too bitter about Chou's departure, even though he was also a co-president in charge of sales and business development.

And in spite of the loss, Google will apparently manage to "continue to expand our research and development center, our sale and business development team, built firmly around the principles of localization and creativity."

Winny Wang of the Shanghai Daily indicated that Chou's departure isn't the only personnel problem that Google must face: "Last month, Google's Asia Pacific Chief Marketing Officer Wang Huainan admitted that he was planning to leave the company in December to establish his own business with Shao Yibo, the founder of Eachnet.com."

Perhaps Huainan and Yibo will have more luck than Google China has had. "Google has about a 25% share of the China market, down from 33% at the end of 2005," according to the Forbes piece. "The market share erosion was blamed on Google's failure to grasp the use of Chinese language and its unfamiliarity the Chinese advertising business."

Chou, for the record, is supposed to be pursuing an unspecified "new career path." There's no word yet on who will replace Chou at Google China.


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