Baidu snags Apple's China chief for COO role

HONG KONG, April 2 Wed Apr 2, 2008 5:16am EDT

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HONG KONG, April 2 (Reuters) - Baidu.com Inc (BIDU.O) has poached Apple Inc's (AAPL.O) former China head for the role of chief operating officer, the latest high-level executive shuffle at China's largest search engine firm.

Peng Ye, who oversaw all business operations in China for Apple as the U.S. firm's country general manager, joins Baidu on the heels of the appointment of ex-General Motors (GM.N) executive Jennifer Li to the post of chief financial officer. [ID:nSHA340039]

Ye's posting takes effect April 25.

Baidu maintains an edge over Google Inc (GOOG.O) as the most popular search engine in the world's No. 2 Internet arena. China had 210 million Internet users at the end of 2007, second only to the United States, and that Web population is set to become the world's largest in 2008. (Reporting by Edwin Chan; Editing by Anne Marie Roantree)

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