After more than three years at Android smartphone maker Xiaomi, Hugo Barra is exiting the company. The Xiaomi global VP announced his plans to leave the company and return to Silicon Valley in a post on Facebook saying 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.” He explains that his friends and home are in Silicon Valley, and his family is much closer to that part of the globe than his current home in Beijing.
Before joining Xiaomi in August 2013, he was the Vice President of Product Management for Android at Google for five years so Hugo Barra is indeed a big name in the smartphone world. In the lengthy Facebook post, Mr. Barra wrote that his time at Xiaomi was the greatest and most challenging adventure of his life. During his time at Xiaomi, he helped to build the company into a major player in the international market. The company is now the third-largest smartphone manufacturer in India, crossing $1 billion in revenue last year, and has a foothold in key Asian markets, including Indonesia, Singapore, and Malaysia.
Commenting on the post, Xiaomi co-founder and president Bin Lin thanked Barra for his contributions, and said that Xiaomi’s current SVP Xiang Wang will lead the company’s global efforts:
When Hugo joined us 3.5 years ago, we started an amazing adventure to turn Xiaomi into a global player. We have come a long way since, and I couldn’t thank him enough for contributing so much to Xiaomi’s journey. As much as we would love to have Hugo stay with us in Beijing for a much longer time, we understand his personal challenges and wish him all the best in his future endeavors. I’m also looking forward to working closely with him in his new role as advisor to Xiaomi.
Xiang Wang, Xiaomi Senior Vice President, will lead our entire global efforts moving forward. We have ambitious expansion plans for 2017 and are confident in Xiang’s leadership to take our global business to even greater heights!
Barra says that he’ll leave his role as Global Vice President of Xiaomi in February after the Chinese New Year. It remains to be seen where he’ll go from here and whether or not he’ll remain in mobile but Barra says he will be taking “some much needed time off” before starting a new job. He does however plans on staying on at Xiaomi as an advisor.