Kai Fu Lee: I need to follow my heart

Summary:A friend (a native speaker) helped me translate (a bit roughly) a Chinese document written (thanks to Ed Frauenheim of news.com for the pointer) by Kai Fu Lee, the former Microsoft executive who signed on with Google to head its research labs in China, and is now at the center of a legal dispute between the two giants (with roots in different eras) over his defection from Redmond.

kaifulee.jpg
A friend (a native speaker) helped me translate (a bit roughly) a Chinese document written (thanks to Ed Frauenheim of news.com for the pointer) by Kai Fu Lee, the former Microsoft executive who signed on with Google to head its research labs in China, and is now at the center of a legal dispute between the two giants (with roots in different eras) over his defection from Redmond. Ed chronicles the ongoing controversy in his story, "Who in the world is Kai Fu Lee?."

In the letter, which appeared on a Web site he uses to stay in touch with his students, Lee explains his reasons for making the switch from Microsoft to Google, a company that Bill Gates and team view as major threat. It's clear from his writing that Google's next-generation technology, research culture, and notion of doing good in the world attracted the Lee, who is best know for his work on speech recognition and directing research labs.  

He doesn't explicitly say it, but he is divorcing Microsoft--the older, slower, more bureaucratic company--and following his heart, which led him to a new, younger company that is one of the leaders in delivering the new technology experience, unburdened by the past and hidden agendas.

Lee writes, "Microsoft is an outstanding company, and there are many things we can learn from it. But Google is a company that makes me feel a shock. The reason Google gives me a shock is the passion for creating a new generation of technology. I found treasures  in Google everywhere. The technology and products are way beyond just the search."

At the end of the letter, Lee gives his formula for why Google is his choice:

youth + freedom + transparency + new model + the general public’s benefit + belief in trust =  The Miracle of Google

He also wrote about bringing the Google culture to China and stimulate the computer science and engineering students there to "create more Google miracles." He concludes by expanding on the theme of his native China and Google:

"No matter how difficult, if you don’t follow your heart and insist on principles, how can suggest other people to do it. Therefore I made a very important choice. I have the right to make my choice. I choose Google, I choose China. I want to do influential things. In China, I can help the youth more and do more influential things. I want to make the best of my own efforts, and in Google I can learn the new creativity model and make myself better."

Topics: Google

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Related Stories

The best of ZDNet, delivered

You have been successfully signed up. To sign up for more newsletters or to manage your account, visit the Newsletter Subscription Center.
Subscription failed.