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NetEase Sinks on CEO Shift

Founder William Lei Ding takes over for the late Ted Sun.


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fell 5% after naming founder William Lei Ding CEO.

Ding, also the company's largest shareholder, succeeds the late Ted Sun. After Sun died last September, his duties were assumed on a temporary basis by Chief Financial Officer Denny Lee and Chief Operating Officer Michael Tong.

Ding has been a board member at the Beijing-based provider of Internet and online gaming services since 1999.

"We believe that his intimate knowledge of the company, combined with a proven track record of leadership in China's Internet market, will enable him to strengthen the value of the company and continue to grow its business in the right direction," director Michael Leung said in a statement.

Shares of NetEase, which says its Web sites average 614 million daily page views, fell $2.95 to $58.05.

Today also is Cyber Monday, which analysts consider to be the busiest online shopping day since many people are returning to work for the first time since the Thanksgiving holiday.

Last year, Cyber Monday sales were much bigger for online merchants than Black Friday, the common start of the holiday shopping season for traditional retailers, according to Merrill Lynch analyst Justin Post.

Online spending, excluding travel, rose 24% to $6.96 billion from Nov. 1 through Nov. 25 compared with the same period a year earlier, according to data from comScore Networks.