Kai-Fu Lee is preparing to leave Google (NSDQ: GOOG) as president of search giant’s China operations, the WSJ confirmed, following earlier reports on Twitter. Two Google execs will take over Lee’s responsibilities: Boon-Lock Yeo, currently director of Google’s Shanghai engineering office, will run engineering for the China unit; and John Liu, the head of Google’s sales team in China, will manage the business and operational responsibilities in that country. Lee, who was previously at Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT), helped establish Google’s China business. He’s the latest in a string of execs to head for the exit over the past few months. His departure comes as Google finds itself in greater conflict with the Chinese government over censorship issues related to YouTube. Google has also been planning to increase its investments and partnerships in China as well, as it plays catch up to the more dominant Baidu.
By David Kaplan