Qi Lu (computer scientist)

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Qi Lu
Qi Lu.jpg
Qi Lu in 2009
Born (1961-09-03) September 3, 1961 (age 58)[1]
Alma materFudan University
(B.S., M.S.)
Carnegie Mellon University
OccupationCEO of Y Combinator China
Known forCEO of Bing, Executive vice-president at Microsoft

Qi Lu (simplified Chinese: 陆奇; traditional Chinese: 陸奇; pinyin: Lù Qí; born September 3, 1961)[1][2] is a Chinese-American software executive and engineer who is the head of Y Combinator China.[3] He was the chief operating officer of Baidu until he stepped down in May 2018. Lu previously was the Executive Vice President at Microsoft, leading the company's work on the Bing search engine, Skype, and Microsoft Office, and before that was a software engineer and manager for Yahoo!'s search technology division.

Early life[edit]

Lu was born in Shanghai, China, and was sent to live with his grandparents in a remote village in Jiangsu Province by his parents during the Cultural Revolution.[2] Lu had no electricity, plumbing, or basic amenities like soap and toothpaste when he grew up there. Due to lack of food, his family had meat once a year at Chinese New Year celebrations.[2]


Missing the engineering weight requirement-50 kilograms and being near-sighted for studying physics or chemistry, he chose computer science with perspectives for later radio factory work. Lu got his undergraduate and master's degrees in computer science at Fudan University in Shanghai and became a faculty member.[2] After attending a talk by Carnegie Mellon University professor Edmund M. Clarke, Lu was invited to apply for a PhD at Carnegie Mellon University. Clarke even offered to waive the $45 application fee that Lu says he could never have come up with.[4] In 1988, Lu arrived to Pittsburgh, becoming the second Chinese student to be admitted to the School of Computer Science. In 1996, he graduated with a PhD in Computer Science from Carnegie Mellon University.[5] His doctoral research focused on distributed file systems that enable multiple users to share files on a computer network.[2]


Lu worked in one of IBM's research labs on Internet-related projects from 1996–98. He then joined Yahoo! as an engineer and eventually rose to manage 3,000 engineers becoming the executive vice president of engineering of search and advertising technology at the company. His departure from Yahoo! in mid-2008 was long-planned, and he was contemplating opportunities in venture capital and even thinking of returning to China. However, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer personally recruited him to join the software giant. After joining Microsoft, Lu was instrumental in driving the partnership with Yahoo! in search and the launch of Bing. He later became an architect of CEO Satya Nadella’s strategy for AI and bots at Microsoft.[5][4]

In 2010, Fast Company named Lu the 10th most creative person in business for 2010, putting his name after James Cameron and before Jay-Z.[6][2]

In January 2017, Lu joined Baidu as Group President and Chief Operating Officer, in charge of products, technology, sales, marketing and operations.[7] On May 18, 2018, Lu stepped down as Chief Operating Officer. [8] In August 2018, Lu joined Y Combinator as the Head of YC Research and to run YC China.[9][10]


  1. ^ a b "Qi Lu birthday question on email". 2011. Archived from the original on 2013-07-15. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  2. ^ a b c d e f Pittsburgh, A. Carnegie Mellon University Publication 5000 Forbes Avenue; Pa 15213268-2000. "Bing It On". Carnegie Mellon Today. Retrieved 2019-03-18.
  3. ^ "Schedule 13D, iQIYI Inc". U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Retrieved 20 February 2019.
  4. ^ a b "Bloomberg - Are you a robot?". www.bloomberg.com. Retrieved 2019-03-19.
  5. ^ a b Burrows, Peter (May 28, 2009). "Is Qi Lu Microsoft's Search Engine Savior?". Bloomberg Businessweek.
  6. ^ "Most Creative People in Business 2010". Fast Company. Retrieved 2019-03-19.
  7. ^ Russell, Jon. "Former Microsoft executive and noted AI expert Qi Lu joins Baidu as COO". Techcrunch.
  8. ^ Gagliordi, Natalie. "Qi Lu steps down as Baidu COO". ZDNet.
  9. ^ Altman, Sam. "YC China + Qi Lu". YCombinator. Retrieved 14 August 2018.
  10. ^ "Y Combinator is launching a startup program in China". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2019-03-18.

External links[edit]