Hugo Barra, Android’s Vice President, has left Google to join a Chinese company, Xiaomi. The reasons for the departure are a bit complicated, but this is after Andy Rubin, then heading the Android division, left his post for other projects within Google. That’s two important people that the Android division has lost.
This is a big scoop for Xiaomi, who have been producing some really good looking and powerful smartphones for their audience in China. Also, it should reaffirm the company’s creds in the eyes of the Westerners. Hugo Barra will be joining Xiaomi as its Vice President, and will be aiming to make it a global contender in the smartphone industry.
The departure seems to be related to a workplace relationship that Barra had formed with another Googler, but then things seemed to gotten a bit weird with Sergey Brin, one of the co-founders, jumping in. This follows the rumours that Brin’s wife of six years, Anne Wojcicki, and Brin, have been living apart recently.
I’ll leave you with that. Here are Barra’s and Google’s official statements:
After nearly 5½ years at Google and almost 3 years as a member of the Android team — the most amazing group of people I’ve ever worked with in my life — I have decided to start a new career chapter.
In a few weeks, I’ll be joining the Xiaomi team in China to help them expand their incredible product portfolio and business globally — as Vice President, Xiaomi Global. I’m really looking forward to this new challenge, and am particularly excited about the opportunity to continue to help drive the Android ecosystem.
Congratulations to Hugo on his exciting new adventure. We’ll miss him at Google but we’re thrilled that he’s sticking with Android. Best wishes Hugo!