Why 3 Google execs have left for Chinese companies in a year

Google executives seem to keep leaving for companies based in China. Last August Hugo Barra left his post at Google as vice president of Android to become VP of cell phone maker Xiaomi Global. In May Baidu snatched up Deep learning guru Andrew Ng, who was leading Google’s Brain project.
And last week Alibaba nabbed Jane Penner, who was heading up Google’s Investor Relations department. That’s three employees in a year to leave Google for China’s growing tech sector. So why did these Googlers leave the pack? There was rumor that Barra might have left because Google founder Sergey Brin had taken up with the project manager’s former flame. But Barra said his move to Xiaomi was a long time in the making.
“To me, right away, it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, truly a dream job, this idea of building a global company which could be as significant as Google, from the ground up,” Barra told AllthingsD. Still, chances are it wasn’t just professional aspirations that inspired Barra’s move. There’s tremendous financial opportunity in signing on with Chinese tech giants, as well as opportunities for creative freedom and the chance to create new global brands.
Let’s look at each of these reasons:
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