Cao Guowei received his degree in journalism from Fudan University in 1988, and worked for the Shanghai Television Station for one year. He then went to the US to study journalism at Oklahoma University, where he earned his masters degree. In 1991, Cao enrolled in an MBA program concentrating on accounting at the University of Texas in Austin.
After graduation he went directly to Silicon Valley, while most of his classmates headed to New York for better paid jobs. Cao first worked as a senior manager for Price Waterhouse Coopers Accounting, where he was responsible for providing audit and consultation services to hightech enterprises in Silicon Valley, and had a chance to participate in the listing of several high-profile enterprises on the NASDAQ.
Cao joined Sina.com in September 1999, holding various titles including executive financial vice-president, chief financial officer, and joint chief operating officer. In 2004, when Sina.com’s advertisement revenue was threatened by its main competitor, Cao Guowei, who had been a CFO for five years, was put in charge of the advertisement business. The decision surprised many people but was proved right a year later. In 2005, the advertisement growth rate in Sina.com exceeded that of Sohu.com for the first time in three years, and Cao’s ability was acknowledged by the leadership of Sina.com.
On 10 May 2006, Cao was named the fifth CEO of Sina.com. In terms of management style, Cao is quite different from Wang Yan, the former CEO of Sina.com. Guided by his ‘careful, rational, and designed’ business principles, Cao will likely lead Sina.com to a new stage in the coming years.