Baidu CFO Jennifer Li leaves post abruptly

  • Push-out Score suggests push-out forces
  • After around nine years on the job
  • Herman Yu taking over
  • Li will remain as senior advisor to senior management at Baidu

(exechange) — Beijing, China, September 18, 2017 — Jennifer Li, finance chief of Baidu, leaves the position. It is an abrupt change. As announced by Baidu, Inc. in a news release on Monday, September 18, 2017, Xinzhe (Jennifer) Li leaves the post as chief financial officer at the Chinese language internet search provider after around nine years on the job, effective immediately.

Li’s duties are taken over by Herman Yu, most recently chief financial officer at Weibo Corp.

The fact that Li’s successor is brought in from outside suggests that the board may seek to stimulate change with fresh ideas and new initiatives.

No reason given

In the announcement, Baidu did not explicitly explain the obviously compelling reason for Li’s sudden move, opening the door for speculation.

Li will remain as senior advisor to senior management at Baidu

“Jennifer Li will step down as chief financial officer of Baidu and serve the Company as a senior advisor to senior management,” Baidu said.

Alarm signal

Generally speaking, it is often an alarm signal for stockholders when a CFO leaves the position abruptly and without a reasonable explanation.

“Step down”

Baidu said: “Jennifer Li will step down as chief financial officer of Baidu.”

Chaired by Robin Li

Baidu, Inc. is chaired by Robin Li.

Robin Li is the Co-Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Baidu, Inc., and oversees the company’s overall strategy and business operations.

On the job as CFO since 2008

Jennifer Xinzhe Li has served as the Company’s chief financial officer since March 31, 2008 and is in charge of the Company’s overall finance functions.

Li has extensive experience in U.S. GAAP reporting and in developing and leading finance and accounting teams before she joined the Company.

Prior to joining Baidu, Li served as controller of General Motors Acceptance Corporation (GMAC)’s North American Operations from 2005 to 2008.

Prior to that, Li worked at General Motors China, where she was responsible for overseeing finance functions of General Motors’wholly owned and joint venture businesses in China from 2001 to 2004, with the last post as its chief financial officer.

From 1994 to 2001, she held several other finance positions at General Motors in Canada, the United States and Singapore. Li currently serves on the Board of Philip Morris International, Inc.

Li holds an M.B.A. degree from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, B.C., Canada and a bachelor of art degree from Tsinghua University in China.

Li is chief executive officer of Baidu Capital, a private equity firm focused on AI-enabled opportunities.

Push-out Score suggests push-out forces

It is not completely certain what forces eventually triggered Jennifer Li’s sudden move.

The Push-out Score™ determined by exechange suggests that push-out forces may have contributed to the management change.

Read the full story in the exechange report 39.2017 ($).