Google's China head Lee Kai-Fu will be leaving the company, a Google source said on Friday, leading to uncertainty about the search giant's plans for the region.
"Yes, we can confirm he is leaving us," a company source told Reuters, declining to give more details and to be identified because the matter was not public yet.
A Google spokeswoman could not be immediately reached for comment.
His departure comes at a period when Google is slowly chipping away at Baidu's dominant search lead in China, the world's largest Internet market by users, while battling Beijing regulators who want Google to censor its searches.
According to Analysys International, Baidu held 61.6% of China's search market in the second quarter while Google held 29%.
Lee joined Google in 2005 to develop the firm's operations in China. Prior to Google, he was at Microsoft where he founded a research center.
Lee holds a doctorate in Computer Science from Carnegie Mellon University and a Bachelor's degree in Computer Science with highest honors from Columbia University, according to his biodata from the Google website.