Li Gong, managing director for Windows Live China, and a top hire for Microsoft coming from Sun Microsystems, is leaving the company in two weeks, according to a CNET News report. Gong had been considered a top hire for MS in 2005, and Kai-Fu Lee, who ultimately left Microsoft China for Google in a messy departure, recommended hiring Gong quickly so as not to lose him to Google, and then left for Google himself shortly thereafter. In a 2005 Business Week interview, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said:
“How are we doing in terms of talent? We’ve brought on fantastic new talent….Li Gong who has joined our MSN team in China, who was one of the leading architects at Sun Microsystems”
15 year MS veteran Friedbert Wall, previously the senior director for Windows Live China Shanghai, has been named managing director of Windows Live China to replace Li Gong, according to Microsoft.