Google Inc. announced Co-President Johnny Chou ( Zhou Shaoning) will resign at the end of the year in order to pursue personal interests. Mr. Chou, Google’s Greater China co-president in charge of sales and business development, first joined the company in China in October 2005. Rumours have been circulating for several weeks and this announcement makes it official.
In a Chinese-language statement, Google praised Chou, who is also sometimes known by his Chinese name Zhou Shaoning, for making an “important contribution in setting up an excellent local management team.”
Google “will continue to expand our research and development center, our sale and business development team, built firmly around the principles of localization and creativity,” the statement said.
Google has been losing market share to the major Chinese language search engine Baidu and other competitors. Baidu has a major share of Internet users in China with 62 percent according to the China Internet Network Information Center. Google’s market share has fallen to 25 percent and Yahoo’s has fallen to 4.77 percent.
Just last week Yahoo China President Wen Xie quit, also for personal reasons, after only 6 weeks on the job. The reason was more likely due to differences with Jerry Yang, Yahoo co-founder, about the direction of the China operations. As Yahoo and Google chase Baidu for market share these resignations come as no surprise. The pressure is intense in this huge marketplace that is growing at an incredible rate.