Baidu Chief Operating Officer (COO) Lu Qi has resigned, and will no longer fill his current position after July 2018.

The company announced that Lu would continue to serve as vice-chairman of its board of directors. Lu said that he would no longer be able to work full-time in Beijing due to personal and family reasons. He said he is planning to spend more time with his family in the US.

“For my next steps, I plan to work in research and investment areas, to help advance our shared mission to make a complex world simpler through technology,” he said in a statement.

Lu was appointed to his position at Baidu in January 2017. Baidu CEO Robin Li said that Lu’s contributions to the company had allowed him to focus on the company’s strategic course. Prior to joining the company, he worked at Microsoft and Yahoo.

While Lu is leaving the company, Baidu announced that Wang Haifeng had been promoted to senior vice president and general manager of Baidu’s AI Group (AIG). Wang has been with Baidu for eight years and became a vice-president in 2013. He will oversee the company’s efforts in machine learning, big data, computer vision, natural language processing, speech technology, knowledge graph, robotics and augmented reality.

Christopher Udemans is TechNode's former Shanghai-based data and graphics reporter. He covered Chinese artificial intelligence, mobility, cleantech, and cybersecurity.

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