Google’s ex VP of Android product to leave Chinese phone maker Xiaomi

How times have changed… When a major executive in an international tech company was leaving a post, the news used to be shared with formal press releases issued to major news outlets. Instead, Hugo Barra chose to announce his departure from Chinese smartphone manufacturer Xiaomi in a Facebook post.

Image courtesy of Global Advisors

Image courtesy of Global Advisors

Barra was brought on board almost four years ago to do something that seemed daunting, to say the least, and that was turn a lesser known device company into a global player. Unfortunately, according to an article on this shift from TheVerge, Barra may have done his job too well: Xiaomi’s global standing rose significantly in that time period, but its place in its own market dropped off the map.

Before anyone takes a stab at an exec tucking tail and running home, Xiaomi has had impressive growth in Barra’s time. According to his statement on Facebook, he “concluded that Xiaomi is in a very good place on its global expansion path… We turned India from a dream into Xiaomi’s largest international market with $1 billion in annual revenues, faster than any company in India’s history. We expanded into Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, and more recently 20 other markets including Russia, Mexico, and Poland. We teamed up with Google to launch our first official product in the US, and with our successful debut at CES 2017 – where we won three prestigious awards – the world now sees that Xiaomi is a global player changing the tech industry through our simple promise of bringing innovation to everyone.”

Alongside the heartfelt thanks and compliments to everyone at Xiaomi, there is also a measure of refreshing honesty in Barra’s post. He basically said it’s time to come home, and living abroad has affected his health and happiness as well as kept him away from his relatives. The one-time Google Android VP also cites an exciting new adventure waiting for him in Silicon Valley, but that’s obviously all he had to say about that for now. Barra will continue in his current position at Xiaomi through the Chinese New Year next month.

For the latest Google Chrome browser, browser extensions, or tools such as Google Drive or Picasa, explore our Google software section.