28
Aug
7-24-2013 9-15-05 AM

Update 2: Hugo Barra himself has confirmed his plans on Google+. He'll become the new Vice President of Xiaomi Global. We wish you the best of luck, Hugo - you will be missed.

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.

--

Update: AllThingsD has updated their report with confirmation from Google. A representative was quoted with the following short statement:

We wish Hugo Barra the best... We'll miss him at Google and we're excited that he is staying within the Android ecosystem.

The reference to Barra "staying within the Android ecosystem" may indeed indicate that he is headed for Xiaomi or at least some company that is tangentially related to Android.

--

Hugo Barra is the Vice President of Product Management for Android at Google. You may remember him from such events as Google I/O or the reveal of the new Nexus 7 and Chromecast last month. According to a report from AllThingsD, Barra has left his position at Google to take a job at Xiaomi, an up-and-coming Chinese manufacturer that makes the a series of phones based on Android ROM/fork MIUI.

So far the report of Barra's resignation has not been confirmed by Barra, Google, or Xiaomi. AllThingsD's sources point to a personal situation within Google, upon which we will not comment.

7-24-2013 9-15-05 AM

Hugo Barra joined Google in 2008, coming from language software provider Nuance Communications. He has been instrumental in guiding the direction of Android, and also a highly visible part of Google's senior management team for the last few years. It's unclear why Barra (who lives and works in San Francisco, at least at the moment) would take a position with Xiaomi. Compared to Google, or even to any of the company's in-country or international competitors, it's a tiny corporation. This report comes three months after Android head Andy Rubin stepped down.

We will be updating this story with any additional information.

Source: AllThingsD

Jeremiah Rice
Jeremiah is a US-based blogger who bought a Nexus One the day it came out and never looked back. In his spare time he watches Star Trek, cooks eggs, and completely fails to write novels.
  • Felipe Pimenta

    My inspiration (Brazilian, studied at MIT, really important guy at Google, my dream job), almost destroyed... :'(

  • Edward Germanotta

    Bad news....

  • Michael Montanez

    too many important people are leaving Google... first Andy Rubin now Hugo!! makes me worried about the companys future :(

  • http://shanked.me/ Shank

    Google IO will never be the same...

    • TylerChappell

      YOU get a free Nexus Q! YOU get a free Nexus 7! And you! He was like the Oprah of the tech world. =[

  • chosen_one1

    Smaller company . Bigger overall role .. He is dreaming of a power career move

    • dandmcd

      Xiaomi is the fastest rising mobile company in the world. He made a good move to have the chance to lead the next Samsung or Apple in the world. If there is anyone who can find success to bring a Chinese company successfully to the rest of the world (that isn't State owned or funded), this is the guy who can do it..

  • The Friend One

    This is a bombshell for Google

  • VoiceofSky

    Something's up i tell you.. something -_-

  • Vitaly

    First it's Andy Rubin leaving Android, then Jean Baptiste leaving AOSP development and now this. I think something is going really wrong with their Android Team.

  • PhineasJW

    There's more to this story...

    Sources in position to know tell AllThingsD that Barra recently tendered his resignation, but that it came before a recent personal situation related to the end of a romantic relationship he had with another Googler, and is unrelated. That Googler is now seeing the company’s co-founder Sergey Brin.

    There are only two reason you pack up and leave one of the best jobs in the world.

    1. You got a much better opportunity, likely with a lot more money.
    2. You just broke up with a co-worker and she's now dating the co-founder.

    • blahmoomoo

      I think you missed the word "unrelated"

    • Tinman

      Sergey Brin is married and has children . I doubt the "sources" are right.

      • jason biggs

        Sound good. But does this mean no nejus 5 or nejus 11 ? i love nejus product manufacturing. he make good demonstration, i feel his love for the product goods.

        • El_Goog

          Nejus?

        • Matthew Brown

          Can't let you get away with that one...the "x" isn't even near the "j" on the keyboard!

          • PhilNelwyn

            ¿Ma que x?

            ¡Nejus cuatro FTW!

          • jason biggs

            Pardon, that letter no good keyboard love.

          • RenatoFontesTapia

            necsus? you could have written it differently >___>

      • ScottColbert
    • JLishere

      It strikes me that Marissa Mayer was dating Larry Page (back when Eric Schmidt was CEO) before they broke up. When Larry became CEO, she wasn't given a position as part of his re-org and we all know where she is now. There are also reports that Sergey Brin and Susan Wojcicki (SVP Advertising), who were together for years, are no longer living together, and that he is now dating an employee from the Google X team - who allegedly used to date Hugo Barra before switching to Sergey. What is happening at Google?

      • http://GPlus.to/Abhisshack Abhisshack

        well its Anne Wojcicki not Susan Wojcicki , Anne is Susan's Little sister. She famously met Brin because Susan was renting her garage to him and his fellow cofounder, Larry Page, as Google's first headquarters. Susan Wojcicki's husband, Dennis Troper, also works for Google. So there's a whole lot of Wojcicki's family at Google if Brin and Anne decide to call it quits.

      • didibus

        That's what you get when the workplace becomes your home

    • Bob G

      So, he decided to leave and move to China. She didn't want to go with him. They broke up and she upgraded to a higher pay version.

      • wrz

        actually, Brin just get paid $1 dollar a year.

    • hot_spare

      Amanda Rosenberg.

      That's the lady in question.

      Apparently she started dating Brin during the Glass product tours.

      BTW, I think it's not fair to comment on their personal lives. Let them decide what makes them happy.

      • PhilNelwyn

        Lol
        Great comment.
        The only thing you forgot, before saying it's not fair, is to give their phone number...

      • remister

        Oh man, she is doing the hoverhand, that's already a sign!

  • DanielC

    Who´s Next? Matias Duarte?...

    • picassa

      .. dating Tim Cook, yeah..

      • TylerChappell

        I would grab some popcorn for this one.

  • Dude!

    Oh man. That's awful news. He was the one pushing for more nexii/playstore content here in Brazil (he is Brazilian), so there goes that. Also, and more importantly, he was becoming the face of android, next only to Matias (after Andy's departure). Bummer.

    But good luck to him in his next job! maybe we will see stock android in xiaomi phones?

  • googlre10

    there is something i read online. Vic Gundotra also leaving and joining microsoft.

  • mgamerz

    That sucks. I always liked watching him do presentations, he didn't seem like a slickey boy and seemed genuine. Come back :(

  • David

    My guess is that his departure was mainly due to management changes under Sundar Pichai, basically his position might have become redundant after the changes.

    It's really uncool from Allthingsd to bring up personal manners just to say that they are unrelated and link to another of their posts, also uncool is the two paragraphs they dedicate to Android bashing at the end of that post (fragmentation, only Sammy makes money, users are cheap) basically the usual debunked nonsense.

  • ConCal

    I don't think it will effect Android's stride at all. Someone will step in and be a great too. It will be interesting what Xiaomi does with their new insider talent.

  • Freak4Dell

    I can't help but wonder why Google is losing a bunch of major players this year. This is either one giant coincidence, or there's somebody in management that's not making life easy for these guys. If the latter, it will eventually hurt the consumer.

  • mathewmakio

    I think many would leave the US to live in China for the next few years? Maybe he just thinks the economy is going down and took the chance to get the hell out of there..

    Why u guys always gotta complicate things with yuh geek talk

  • vinnyjr

    Google is dropping serious members because they all disagree on the direction they are going. They can not make a descent phone if it killed them. They make a descent phone, Nexus 4, then they go and put 8gb of int memory. Everyone complained so they put in 16gb of int memory. They phone didn't sell. They refuse to put sd-card in the phone, many many customers want that feature. If they aren't going to put the sd-card into the Android phone then at least put some freaken internal memory in the phone. A minimum of 32gb with sd-card support, without sd-card at least 64gb of int memory. Then the Nexus would sell. I understand the new iPhone 5S will have a new version with 128gb of int memory. That would be something if Android would step the fuck up like that.

    • ScottColbert

      Decent, not descent. Can't take the opinion of a barely literate post seriously.

      • Karthik

        Not everyone speaks proper English. You can't brand people as illiterate just because their English is bad. The whole of China, Japan, Germany and so many other countries are illiterate, going by your logic.

        • ScottColbert

          Defensive much?

          • Thatguyfromvienna

            That was a genius move. At least if you try to be perceived as an ignorant sucker.

    • Jadephyre

      What the hell do you want with 128GB of onboard Memory ?
      First off it would make the phone extremely expensive, second it would drain your battery, and third: What do you ever plan to put on there ? 1080p BluRay Videos ?
      Your entire music collection ? I can get behind the idea of having 32GB on a phone, because of a bit of music and a certain number of apps, but 128GB is just too much.

      Also, what makes you believe that the Nexus 4 did not sell ? Do you have any substantials to back this up or is it just your ass talking ?

      • OSagnostic

        More RAM drains battery as it has to be powered on and refreshed to retain stored data. Flash memory is non-volatile so does not have this problem therfore doesn't drain battery.

      • Paul

        First i had a 16GB sd-card in my phone, was filled within a day.
        Then a 32GB, and then again a 64GB. Guess what? Those got filled up within a week.
        Now, if phones would have storage like 128GB, i wouldn't miss sd-cards that much anymore, i guess. Internal flash might be more expensive, but it is also "longer lasting"/reliable than card flash.

    • http://riteshtripathy.wordpress.com/ Ritesh

      Excuse me, the Nexus 4 didn't sell? Bwahahahaha...

  • Kevin Aaronson

    Money money money

  • Tamadrummer94

    Kind of surprising that he's leaving Android development at Google for MIUI development at Xiaomi. But MIUI is cool, I guess...

    • dandmcd

      He's likely going there to help rebrand Xiaomi for the rest of the world outside China, so the brand can become a global leader like Samsung or Apple. Xiaomi is already the hottest company in China, everyone wants a Xiaomi phone, they sell like hot cakes, but outside of China, Chinese businesses tend to struggle to make a name for themselves. Huawei and ZTE have had success with business products, but very few people ever buy their phones outside their home.

      • Tamadrummer94

        Yeah, I get it. And I wouldn't mind seeing them succeed.

  • Bharath

    It has been confirmed... check his g+...

  • Jadephyre

    So... he's going to a company that has developed a version of Android that is directly copycatting iOS, drains the battery of every phone faster than a 3 year old kid can drain a pack of Capri Sun and is more flashy than Touchwiz.

    • dandmcd

      Never actually used a Xiaomi phone, have you?

      • Jadephyre

        No, because they are next to impossible to get here in Germany, and i'm not taking the risk of importing something from China.
        I used MIUI on my GNex, and while it certainly looked pretty, I felt reminded of iOS too often and the battery has been draining like crazy.
        Normal Android runs fine, MIUI doesn't, it's as simple as that.

        • dandmcd

          I agree it still has reminders of the iOS look, though they have been moving further and further away from that as people want to do more customization to their homescreens. The problem is most of the popular Android apps in China use the iOS UI, and most people are used to it, so it is hard for developers to move away to the western standards and Google guidelines as they are drastic changes that will confuse the Chinese masses. Hopefully Hugo will help in this regard!

          As far as battery life, in my office in Guangzhou (I work for a Big Pharma company in their Chinese branch office), most of the girls all use Xiaomi's, and not one has ever complained about the battery life. Of course battery is subjective, we all use the phone differently and have different expecations. They all Wechat and watch Korean soaps all day. I use mine for work and studies. I don't personally own one, I have mine away to a friend, but I was happy with it, but I have since switched to Nubia. Surely the software on their own branded phone is much more optimized than what you would get on a port to a GNex or any other phone.

          • Jadephyre

            That's exactly the point, usage. I did not use my phone any differently than I did when I was still using stock Android/CyanogenMod, I even performed a full wipe, didn't change one thing.

            Also, if they bring their version of Android to the "Western World" without any changes, Apple is going to have a field day, and we don't need more lawsuits from those jerks. It's enough that Samsung & Apple are still caught up in a dick-waving competition.

  • Dave

    That is why you do not f**k your co-worker girls... it always gets bad in the end. There is plenty of flesh out there that is not colleges and is hot enough especially when you get such fat salary.

  • BigMixxx

    It's some freaks at Google!

  • http://riteshtripathy.wordpress.com/ Ritesh

    Its a career move - smaller company, bigger role, bigger challenge etc. maybe he saw great potential at Xiaomi. Why do people have to read too much into it and speculate all sorts of things about his personal life? People change jobs all the time.. what's so shocking about that? And no, the nexus program or Android for that matter is not at risk due to this or any other major guy leaving!

    • dandmcd

      The rumors of lovers and mistresses is really annoying, whoever fired off those rumors is just trying hard to cause controversy. I agree with you, he likely sees Xiaomi as the next Samsung or HTC, and wants to have the chance to become the voice and leader of the company when they make a worldwide debut in the near future. I'm happy that they brought in a Google guy, as it should allow MIUI to maybe come closer to the Google stock UI, but maintain enough difference to keep it unique. Xiaomi has a big chance of success worldwide, they don't have the evil "spy" cloud hanging over them like ZTE and Huawei before them, and people consider their phones very cool. Now they just need to think of a way to make the name Xiaomi more palatable to a worldwide audience.

      • http://riteshtripathy.wordpress.com/ Ritesh

        Exactly.

      • BobbyWong

        Yup, lots of Chinese companies are trying to internationalize right now (TCL is another) and they're hiring people with US corporate experience like crazy. Spend some time in Shenzhen, you'll notice that.

  • Thomas’

    He was at Google for five years - which is way longer than the average Googler.

  • picassa

    I'm sure Hugo Barra will regret his decision later.. :)

  • Carlos Paixao

    Não é bobo nem nada... foi pegar a chinesinha filé!

    Hugo is not playing the fool at all. He just optioned to get his hands on the chinese pretty face.

    • dandmcd

      I'm pretty sure being an executive of Google would get you a Chinese pretty face, regardless of where he lives. That withstanding, I'm sure he's going to love his first VIP party at a KTV and casino in Macao.

  • jninja

    Anyone that wants to work for a chinese company is a traitor to america and an idiot since all chinese manufacturers are puppets of the communist government.

  • ANex

    Now I hope he can do something with their violation of GPL license. If the kernel is open sourced we can see some development of Xiaomi phones. They are good phones but I like CM and PA more.

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