After three-and-a-half years in China, Hugo Barra is coming home. That's right: Barra, a former Google VP, is leaving Xiaomi and coming back to Silicon Valley, to '[embark] on a new adventure'.
Barra joined Xiaomi at a time when it was still mostly seen as a newcomer in the global technology business. His leadership, as Global Vice President, has turned the scrappy young upstart into a genuine force to be reckoned with all over the world. Xiaomi now sells phones in multiple countries, including its native China, India, (the company's biggest market), Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, and more far-flung countries such as Russia, Mexico, and Poland. A US launch is on the horizon for the next two years, and the company's debut at CES 2017 was apparently a success, winning three awards. In addition, Xiaomi designed and developed the Mi Mix, a 'concept' smartphone with no bezels that is available to buy on a limited basis in China.
Meanwhile, for Barra, he says living in China has 'taken a huge toll on my life' and after '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 mentions that his family and friends are back in Silicon Valley, which is what he considers to be home.
For the tech industry, this seems like both good and bad thing. On the bad side, Xiaomi will lose Barra's leadership and expertise. On the good side, another company will gain that, which any company would snap up in an instant. Hugo says he will be transitioning from his role at Xiaomi in February, after Chinese New Year. After that, the world, or more accurately, Silicon Valley, is his oyster. We at Android Police wish him the best of luck on his next move.
- Hugo Barra (Facebook)
- Timothy Vreeland