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Hugo Barra


Hugo Barra is joining Facebook as the new head of Oculus VR

Former Googler Hugo Barra announced recently that he was leaving his gig at Xiaomi, where he's worked as a global VP since 2013. Everyone was wondering where he would go, and now we know. Barra is Facebook-bound. Specifically, he's going to be the head of Oculus VR at Facebook.

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After almost four years in China, Hugo Barra is leaving Xiaomi

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.

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Xiaomi's Hugo Barra makes dubious claim that Xiaomi isn't hurt by company's declining smartphone sales

In an interview with Reuters, Xiaomi's Hugo Barra addressed a question that seems to be one the company has managed to avoid to date: its declining smartphone sales. For all the hype Xiaomi has generated over the last few years, it has recently experienced a sudden and dramatic shift in sales figures - and not in the right direction. In Q1 2016, Xiaomi's handset sales were estimated to be down 25% over the previous year, versus a global smartphone shipment decline of just 0.1%. They declined a further 38% in Q2 2016. In Q3, its Chinese domestic sales have dropped an alleged 45%.

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Xiaomi seriously considering a US phone launch in the next year or two, hints Hugo Barra

The Chinese smartphone upstart known as Xiaomi has had its sights set on the United States for quite a while, but only now is that really coming to a head. In a recent interview with Engadget, Xiaomi's Global VP, and former Googler, Hugo Barra revealed that Xiaomi phones are being actively tested in the US in preparation for a launch sometime in the next two years.

For a US launch, if the respective phone manufacturer wants to partner with the carriers, a lot of very rigorous device testing is required beforehand, in the lab and in field tests, both of which are notoriously tough.

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Xiaomi Has A San Francisco Press Event Scheduled For February 12th... But It's Still Not Entering The US Market

Dedicated gadget geeks will be aware of Xiaomi, a huge player in the Chinese smartphone market. In fact the company has become so big (and become big so quickly) that it's now the third-largest smartphone maker in the world by volume, more or less on the strength of the expanding userbase in China alone. But most other people in the west, even those who know the major players of the smartphone market, might not even know the company exists. Xiaomi wants to change that.


Hugo Barra, Xiaomi's current global VP and former Google mobile product manager. Image credit: MIUI

Xiaomi will host a stand-alone press conference in San Francisco on Thursday, February 12th.

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Xiaomi Just Ripped Off Pressy, Legal Action Seems Inevitable

Pressy tore it up on Kickstarter last year, eventually raising $695,138 of its original $40,000 goal. While backers have been eagerly awaiting delivery of the almighty Android button, Chinese OEM Xiaomi is trying to sneak its own version onto the market first. Xiaomi's Hugo Barra (formerly of Google) posted an image of the gadget on Google+, and the Pressy folks are not pleased.


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Hugo Barra Describes How Xiaomi Pushes Out Weekly Builds, Turning User Feedback Into Shipped Product In A Matter Of Days

It's not all that uncommon for software companies to roll out updates on a monthly, even weekly basis, but manufacturers are typically content to improve their products much more slowly. This isn't the case with Xiaomi, the successful Chinese smartphone maker Hugo Barra, former Vice President of Product Management for Android, left Google to join a few months ago. The company ships a new batch of phones every week, partially relying on user feedback to determine what changes they should make for each group - new shipments come out every Tuesday at noon Beijing time, containing new software builds and possible minor hardware tweaks.

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Hugo Barra Speaks Out About His Departure From Google And Why Xiaomi Is Going Global

Hugo Barra was the face of Android for the last several years. If Google needed someone out front for a demo, it was going to be Barra. He was personable and effective on stage, but he announced a few weeks ago that he was leaving Mountain View for Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi where he will serve as VP of global. It seemed abrupt, but Barra has revealed in an interview with All Things D that the move was in the works for some time.


Barra began talking with Xiaomi over a year ago, right after the original Nexus 7 was announced.

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Report: Hugo Barra, VP Of Android Product Management At Google, Is Leaving For Chinese Manufacturer Xiaomi [Update: Confirmed]

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...

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