Baidu Inc., a Chinese web services company that has grown to become one of the largest Internet companies in the world, has hired Microsoft’s former Executive as Chief Operating Officer (COO) to boost their artificial intelligence-initiative.

The initiative is a result to the company witnessing a decrease in their search engine business, and hoping that artificial intelligence can help increasing this. “Baidu has been refocusing its business strategy after the introduction of new advertising regulations, aimed at medical advertising in particular, led to a 16 percent drop in ad customers during quarter ended in September”, Reuters reports.

The former Microsoft COO Qi Lu will work with implementing artificial intelligence in Baidu’s strategic focus over the next decade.

Baidu’s Chief Executive, Robin Li praised Dr Lu in a recent statement, saying that he possesses a wealth of leadership and management experience, and is a leading authority in the area of AI.

In terms of investments, Baidu launched its $200 million fund in September to focus on AI, augmented reality and deep learning, which was followed by a $3 billion fund announced in October that is working towards targeting mid-and late stage start-ups.

Dr Lu is not the first person to join Baidu that’s a former Microsoft employee, as the company appointed Zhang Ya-Qiu, former Microsoft Executive, in 2014.

This article was first found at: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-baidu-management-idUSKBN1510A0

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