Hugo Barra Steps Down From Xiaomi; Indicates Silicon Valley Return

Prayank

Hugo Barra, the Vice President of International at Xiaomi has announced that he’ll be quitting the company after three and half years at the helm as he wants to return to Silicon Valley in the USA.

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The former Google Android Vice President was poached by Xiaomi back in 2013, a move which gave the Chinese smartphone company the much-needed legitimacy while trying to find its footing in the international market.

Hugo Barra has cited the primary reason for leaving Xiaomi is homesickness and health concerns.

“What I’ve realised is 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. My friends, what I consider to be my home, and my life are back in Silicon Valley, which is also much closer to my family. Seeing how much I’ve left behind these past few years, it is clear to me that the time has come to return,” Hugo Barra wrote in his Facebook post.

One of his primary responsibilities since joining Xiaomi has been to increase its global market presence and Barra has overseen the company’s expansion into more than 20 countries including Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Russia, Mexico, Poland and India.

India is Xiaomi’s biggest international market with annual revenues north of $1 billion in 2016.

Xiaomi is now facing the challenge of replacing Hugo Barra, who is a well-known and respected figure within the tech industry, with another face which can take its global expansion to the next stage as it faces stiff competition from the likes of Huawei, Oppo and Vivo.

“This journey has been nothing short of spectacular in every way, and I can proudly say that Xiaomi Global is the first baby I helped bring into the world. Xiaomi now has a strong, globally-minded executive team who will continue to drive the momentum we began together,” Barra added.

During his time with Google, Barra had worked on products like Android OS Honeycomb, Ice Cream Sandwich, Jelly Bean and KitKat, as well as devices such as Nexus 4, Nexus 5 smartphones, Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 tablets, among others.

Hugo Barra’s exit comes soon after the launch of Xiaomi’s Redmi Note 4 device in India, which also went on sale today at 12 pm in the country.

“I will take some much-needed time off before embarking on a new adventure back in Silicon Valley,” he added.

The 40-year-old computing wizard is going to officially step down from his role at the company in February, after the Chinese New Year celebration on January 28, but will remain with Xiaomi as an advisor indefinitely.

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Prayank

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Prayank

Bike enthusiast, traveller, ManUtd follower, army brat, word-smith; Delhi University, Asian College of Journalism, Cardiff University alumnus; a journalist breathing tech these days.