Baidu head of comms and China tech figure Kaiser Kuo is leaving the firm to return to the U.S.

China’s tech scene is losing one of its most recognizable and influential faces after Baidu head of comms Kaiser Kuo announced he is leaving the company to return to the U.S.

New York native Kuo has spent more than 20 years in China and has presided over international communications at Baidu, one of the country’s largest Internet companies and its top search firm, for the past six.

Formerly a journalist with Red Herring and China Now, Kuo is a high-profile figure in China’s tech scene thanks to a combination of factors that include his sharp insight, Western background, longevity in China, ability to speak Mandarin and English and downright likability.

He was also a founding member of Tang Dynasty, one of the first heavy metal bands in China.

Baidu and rock aside, he’s known for the Sinica Podcast, which he hosts alongside Jeremy Goldkorn. The duo plan to go full-time on the podcast from next month after it was acquired by an unnamed startup in New York. (Kuo has promised more details on this soon.)

Kuo said he will continue to maintain ties with China, and make regular trips to the country while tapping into the China-watching community in the U.S. for the podcast.

All the best Kaiser, you’re one of the best in the business and we look forward to seeing the podcast go full-throttle.