It appears that not all is well (or at least normal) at Baidu. Last week, the company’s COO abruptly resigned, and today, its CTO followed suit. Both men cited "personal reasons" for their departures, and Baidu’s made little other information available.
Either exit might have been considered unremarkable on its own. The COO, Peng Ye, left before Google made its big statement about China, and also before hackers attacked Baidu, so "personal reasons" sounded like a semi-plausible explanation.
As for the CTO, Yinan Li, he could have gotten a pass if his colleague hadn’t left so recently.
It’s the combination of the two departures that makes for such an odd situation. And the curt way in which Baidu’s announced everything is also suspicious, with the press release about Peng Ye and his replacements consisting of about 180 words, and the release concerning Yinan Li hitting just over 50.
Still, Baidu hasn’t badmouthed its former execs. Robin Li, Baidu’s CEO, stated, "We appreciate all that Yinan has contributed to Baidu and we wish him every success in his future endeavors."
Finally, it’s important to note that investors don’t seem worried. In fact, they’ve sent Baidu’s stock up 0.74 percent so far today, even as the Dow and Nasdaq are down 0.94 and 1.24 percent, respectively.