It’s almost a waste of space to state that Google is a good employer; the fact is widely known, and people all over the world apply there on a regular basis. However, in a move that may speak to how the search giant is faring in China, an important research executive has gone to work for Baidu after quitting Google within the past couple weeks.
Kathrin Hille, who’s based in Beijing, got in contact with both companies and confirmed, "Baidu said Wang Jing had joined the company as a vice-president in charge of engineering. Google said Mr Wang quit as engineering director earlier this month."
This is bad news for Google. It would make sense if search people left its Chinese operation, given that everything’s been routed through Hong Kong. Google’s advertising and research efforts were supposed to continue the same as usual, though, and it’s not as if the company cut anyone’s salary due to its disagreement with the Chinese government.
Wang Jin’s decision to leave would just appear to be a reflection on Google’s worsening reputation in the region, then.
Google will have to hope (and/or take action to ensure) that this doesn’t represent the start of a trend, with more and more employees leaving to work for Baidu or other Chinese competitors.