Shawn Wang, the chief financial officer of Baidu.com, China's top search engine, was killed in an accident on December 27, the company said Saturday.
"We are all completely shocked and deeply saddened by this tragic news," said Robin Li, Baidu's chairman and CEO, in a statement that described Wang as a "tremendous leader" and "wonderful friend."
Baidu did not provide details of the fatal accident, except to say that it took place "in China during the Christmas holiday vacation."
Wang joined Baidu in 2004 and helped guide the company through its 2005 initial public offering on the Nasdaq stock exchange. Before Baidu, Wang worked as a partner at PriceWaterhouseCoopers' Global Capital Markets Group.
Baidu did not immediately name a new CFO, saying Wang's responsibilities would be overseen by the company's management team until a successor is found.