(Yicai Global) Feb. 8 -- Baidu Inc. [NASDAQ:BIDU] must promote capable managers and demote the incompetent because the Chinese internet juggernaut is fighting a war, founder Robin Li said at a recent company meeting.
Senior management has undergone a series of changes recently, with the latest the appointment of artificial intelligence investor Liu Wei as chief executive of Baidu Ventures, the company's venture capital arm. Liu was a partner at Angel Investment Legend Star Capital Co., owned by Legend Holdings Corp. [HKG:3396].
Last year was a testing time for Baidu and its market capitalization continued to shrink compared with Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. [NYSE:BABA] and Tencent Holdings Ltd. [HKG:0700], a veteran company observer said. Baidu needs across-the-board changes, in content, financial operations and services alike.
Judging by the stern warnings Li has issued -- such as "You should step aside if you can't make any competitive products" and "Management also needs to be 'metabolized' -- Baidu is taking things very seriously this time, the pundit noted.
As mobile devices overtake personal computers as the main battleground for internet firms, more and more content creators are choosing to work for Tencent or fellow social media platform Weibo Corp. [NASDAQ:WB], Baidu should think about, prepare for and commit itself to the issue of "How to get content back using the Baidu platform, and make it easily accessible for our users?," Li said.