Baidu announced yesterday in an internal letter the appointment of Li Jing, a 25-year-old entrepreneur, as vice president. This makes Li the youngest VP in the history of the search giant.
The appointment comes after Baidu’s full acquisition of Beijing Shoujiao Info Technology, the company behind WeChat-based marketing consulting account Professor Li (李叫兽), founded by Li Jing in 2016. Li will oversee Baidu’s creative advertising business, marketing strategies, productization and will report directly to Baidu’s senior VP Xiang Hailong, according to the company.
The success story of this young entrepreneur soon became the hottest topic on China’s social media. While some were amazed at his achievements at such an early age, others questioned his qualifications. For a time, praise, envy, mockery filled China’s social media.
Compared with other Baidu VPs, Li Jing has only just started his career. Born in 1991, Li graduated from Wuhan University in 2014, majoring in marketing and went to Tsinghua University for his master’s degree. He set up the WeChat public account Professor Li to share marketing methods. The account gradually accumulated a ton of fans. In the meantime, there were companies asking him to do consulting services on marketing programs, including Baidu.
Li Mingyuan’s resignation is perhaps one of the reasons why Baidu made such a bold move to include young members in management: to keep up with the change in a market that’s increasingly dominated by the young generation. Additionally, Baidu has suffered from a series of blows in the past year, including the death of college student Wei Zexi and scandals surrounding Tieba. The company desperately needs to revamp its brand and hopes that Li Jing can help.
Image credit: Professor Li