Google announced that John Liu, Google’s head of Greater China and global vice president, will soon depart the company, and his role will be taken over by Scott Beaumont, who leads Google’s partnerships business in Europe, in August 2013.
Public files show that Liu joined Google in January 2008 as Google’s global vice president, leading the sales in Greater China. In September 2009, he was appointed head of Google’s Greater China business after the departure of Kai-Fu Lee. Prior to joining Google, Liu worked for SK Telecom as China CEO for six years.
Commenting on Liu’s departure, Google said Liu has decided to pursue other opportunities after leading Greater China business for six years. Over the past six years, Liu played an important role in the development of Greater China business and the company appreciated his contribution. Meanwhile, Google expressed its best wishes for Liu’s future.
After the departure of Liu, Beaumont will take the roles in August to continue to help their partners in China to gain better development in local and global markets.
Google faces an uphill battle in China. While phones based on its Android operating system are tops in China, the Chinese regulatory and legal system prohibits Google from directly engaging in its advertising, mapping, and search-related businesses in the same manner it conducts those businesses in North America. Because of this, and because Google places conservative middle managers in top China roles rather than entrepreneur-minded executives in these positions, Google’s momentum in China appears stalled.