Hugo Barra, Xiaomi's Global VP is leaving the Chinese smartphone maker after 3.5 years. Barra joined Xiaomi from Google, where he served as the VP of Android and now plans to head back to Silicon Valley. Hugo Barra will continue with the company till February and plans to take some time off before heading back to Silicon Valley.
Hugo Barra joined Xiaomi in 2013 when the company was primarily selling its products only in Greater China. With Barra's joining as Global VP, the company expanded across Asian markets and other regions including Russia.
Under the leadership of Barra, the Chinese company announced its 2016 flagship at Mobile World Congress last year and announced Android TV-based products at Consumer Electronics Show 2017. However, Xiaomi is yet to establish its foothold in the US market. For Xiaomi under Barra, India has been the strongest market for the company. Xiaomi India recently announced that it has surpassed over $1 billion in sale and the company is one of the first in the business to start making its smartphones in India.
Hugo Barra cites home sickness and health issues as the reason for leaving the organisation. In a Facebook post announcing his departure, he notes "What I’ve realized is that the last few years of living in such a singular environment have taken a huge toll on my life and started affecting my health. My friends, what I consider to be my home, and my life are back in Silicon Valley, which is also much closer to my family. Seeing how much I’ve left behind these past few years, it is clear to me that the time has come to return."
He also noted that Xiaomi's global footprint is in a very good place and the company's Senior Vice President, Xiang Wang will lead international business going forward. With Hugo Barra leaving the organisation, Xiaomi's events will never be the same again. One wonders if Barra's decision to move to the valley has anything to do with Android Creator, Andy Ruben's plans of making a smartphone. Only time will tell.