Hugo Barra to Depart Xiaomi, Return to Silicon Valley
Hugo Barra, Vice President of Xiaomi’s International division, announced in a Facebook post that he was moving on from Xiaomi and heading back to Silicon Valley “to embark on future adventures.”
Before his work at Xiaomi, Mr. Barra began his own voice recognition company with fellow graduates from MIT. It was soon acquired, and he eventually found himself working for Google as a Product Manager for Google’s Mobile team, later being promoted to Vice President. In his role as Product Manager, he worked from 2010 to 2013 to guide Android’s development from Honeycomb to KitKat, while also successfully releasing the generally-beloved Nexus 4, 5, and 7. He was also a central figure in the development of Google Now, which has now evolved into Google Assistant.
While at Xiaomi, Mr. Barra adopted a similar role, also working to develop and release high quality devices. However, he also focused heavily on affordability and also strove to break into new markets. In his role as Vice President, he worked with Xiaomi to release devices like the MiPad and Redmi lines, and also experienced impressive successes in coordinating Xiaomi’s expansion into India and Latin America, stating that the company had transformed the dream of an India branch into the country’s fastest growing member of the mobile marketplace. Mr. Barra has also acted as the company’s main presenter and has been the face of nearly all Xiaomi product releases, espousing a characteristic charm that many have grown to enjoy in a realm of Chinese product reveals that can often walk a fine line between technology demonstration and magical realism.
He will undoubtedly be missed by the burgeoning tech company, having provided it an air of legitimacy when he came aboard in 2013, in some ways even becoming the face of Xiaomi to Western Android enthusiasts. Nevertheless, executives like co-founder Bin Lin expressed support and will still retain Mr. Barra as an adviser to Xiaomi. Moving forward, Senior Vice President of Strategic Cooperation Xiang Wang will take over Mr. Barra’s role. Previously a senior executive at Qualcomm, Xiaomi’s International division will undoubtedly be in good hands.
Given Mr. Barra’s cryptic reference to future adventures in Silicon Valley, many – XDA included – will be eagerly waiting to see what future ventures he has in store.
Source: Barra’s Facebook