Chinese search firm Baidu has announced a major shake-up of its business designed to refocus on four main functions, as the company seeks to increase its stranglehold on the domestic search market and expand its product portfolio.
Senior vice president Haoyu Shen is to leave the company at the end of July for "personal reasons", and Baidu will realign around sales, commercial operations, user products and technologies, and commercial products and technologies business units.
"With the development and rising complexity of Baidu's business, promoting organisational innovation and personnel training have become important tasks," said Robin Li, Baidu's chairman and chief executive.
"With the realignment of Baidu's four main business functions, I'm confident that we will spur exciting new developments in technologies and products, create greater efficiencies in our sales operations, and enhance synergies in our management structure."
Baidu is by far the largest player in the Chinese search market. Figures from Chinese internet tracking firm iResearch for the first quarter of 2011 reveal that Baidu has a 74 per cent market share with Google a distant second on 23 per cent.
This has not stopped Baidu expanding into new market areas, however. The firm signed a deal with Microsoft this week which will see Bing provide English language search results on the site.
Baidu has also moved into e-commerce, and provides numerous additional services including mapping tools, social networking and an online encyclopaedia.
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