Google hires another China exec

The search giant names a former UT Starcom executive to head its sales operations.

Google on Tuesday named Johnny Chou to take charge of sales and business development in China.

In his new role, Chou will be tasked with building sales and channel businesses as well as expanding partnerships in the region, Google said. Prior to this, Chou was employed by networking and telecommunications gear maker UT Starcom as president of its China operations.

Google is currently embroiled in a bitter battle with Microsoft over a separate China-related hiring. The search company recently hired former Microsoft executive Kai-Fu Lee to start its research and development center in China as well as look after its public affairs there. The software giant has argued that working for Google would violate terms of the contract Lee signed with Microsoft.

Google said Lee and Chou will jointly oversee overall operations in China.

"Johnny Chou has a proven track record of leading businesses to success in the complex Chinese market and will accelerate our efforts to establish Google's operations in China," Omid Kordestani, senior vice president of global sales at Google, said in a statement.