Ex-Microsoft Exec Starts Work At Google - InformationWeek

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Ex-Microsoft Exec Starts Work At Google

Kai-Fu Lee, the center of an ongoing legal battle between Google Inc. and Microsoft Corp., has started his job as head of Google's China operations, about two weeks after a judge ruled that the former Microsoft vice president could work for the search engine firm.

Kai-Fu Lee, the center of an ongoing legal battle between Google Inc. and Microsoft Corp., has taken up his post as head of Google's China operations, about two weeks after a judge ruled that the former Microsoft vice president could work for the search engine, China's state news agency reported Thursday.

Lee, a speech recognition expert who was a vice president with Microsoft, was hired to head Google's new research and development center, which is expected to be built between Beijing and Shanghai, the Xinhua News Agency reported. Google plans to make a decision on the center's location soon.

Lee's first goal is to recruit 50 college graduates this year, the news agency said. Microsoft Research Asia, founded by Lee in 1998 in Beijing, has said it plans to recruit 100 to 150 graduates this year.

"We are here not to steal talent from other companies, but train local people," Lee was quoted as saying.

In a statement released Thursday to TechWeb, Google said Lee started work immediately after the court ruling.

"The judge's ruling allows Dr. Lee to do what we hired him to do, which is build and recruit for our research and development center in China," Google said. "He began work on that immediately after the ruling."

A Washington state court ruled that Lee could begin work for Google, under a number of restrictions, while Microsoft's suit against Lee and Google winds through the courts. Microsoft sued Google and Lee, accusing the latter of violating the non-compete clause in his contract when he left for the search engine.

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