He will be replaced by current CTO Zhang Bo and Tang Jian, the chief scientist of Didi intelligent control, will take the position of Deputy Director of Didi AI Labs.
In his letter, Jieping said:
“Now I say goodbye, and my heart is full of reluctance. I thought for a long time, trying to explore the possibilities of AI in other fields. Thank you Didi, and thank you all for your trust, support and help. AI Labs has Teacher Tang, Teacher Zhu, and Kevin. I believe it will continue to lead everyone to continue to make more updated and more powerful explorations.”
Jieping’s resignation is not the first within the company. In the last few months, several senior executive employees have left for various reasons. Among them are Qiu Guangyu, the COO of Didi International Business, Xiaohu Xiaohu, VP of Didi Travel and Fu Junhua, senior VP and General Manager.
As AI technology becomes an increasingly important component of the tech world, academics specializing in AI are being pulled out of the educational sphere to work in the industry. However, a recent trend is seeing the reversal of this arrangement.
Heads of AI labs are resigning to go back and work in universities to pursue their research. Most recently, Ma Weiying, VP of Byte Dance, and director of their AI lab left the company to join the Institute of Intelligent Industry at Tsinghua University. Outside of China too, this trend might be on the rise. Academic dissatisfaction and the lapse of academic leave are stipulated to be the reasons for this phenomenon.
Before joining Didi, Jieping was a tenured professor at the University of Michigan. He has authored over 200 papers that have been published in noteworthy journals and conferences. Reports show that he has been cited over 18000 times, and has won several awards for his papers.
As a thorough academic whose research interests focus on Data Mining, Big Data Analysis, and Machine Learning, Jieping is ready to move on from Didi after spending 5 years in the company.