Update 1/26: Wasting no time, Facebook has announced that Hugo Barra is joining the company as the Vice President of their VR division, puting him in charge of the Oculus team. Barra replaces former Oculus CEO Brendan Iribe, who late last year stepped down to focus specifically on leading the group's PC VR efforts.

Original 1/23: In a surprising turn of events this evening, Hugo Barra, Xiaomi’s International Vice President, has announced that he will be leaving the company next month.

Barra has for all practical purposes served as the face of the company outside of its home region of China, having served as the VP of Xiaomi’s business affairs outside of mainland China for the last three and a half years. Brought on board by the company to oversee their expansion out of China, under Barra’s watch, Xiaomi has been able to expand into the United States, India, and other important markets for the smartphone manufacturer. Though it’s an expansion that hasn’t been without its difficulties, as just earlier this month Xiaomi’s CEO admitted that the company has been expanding too fast, and in an unsustainable manner.

In his announcement, Barra has said that while he’s enjoyed the challenge of the job and the opportunities it provided, the pressure and hours had been catching up to his health. So with Xiaomi’s big expansion push seemingly done for now, Barra will be stepping down from the company in February – after the end of the Chinese New Year – reducing his role to an external advisor and eventually returning to Silicon Valley. While he hasn’t talked about what he’ll be doing next for employment, Barra was a member (and later director) of the Android product management team for several years before being tapped by Xiaomi, so he has ample experience in the mobile industry.

Finally, alongside Barra’s announcement that he’ll be stepping down, Xiaomi is similarly announcing who will replace him. This time they will be tapping internal talent, with current Senior VP Xiang Wang taking on Barra’s duties.

Source: Hugo Barra (via Facebook)

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  • WorldWithoutMadness - Monday, January 23, 2017 - link

    By putting Chinese to replace him? Who are they trying to impress? Chinese people when they're expanding to EU and USA?

    Their failure was caused by many mistakes, no physical store availability compared to rivals such as Huawei, confusing lineups like redmi 4, 4a, 4 prime, what's wrong with sticking just one, and many more. Their strategies were fine when they were small but not anymore.
    Reply
  • BrokenCrayons - Monday, January 23, 2017 - link

    Why would the racial background of a person appointed to a leadership position in a phone manufacturing company matter to Joe Average out making a phone purchase? Honestly, there are more significant elements of the purchase to worry about than whether or not the international VP is Asian, sheesh. Reply
  • fanofanand - Monday, January 23, 2017 - link

    I couldn't agree more. The nationality is irrelevant. I would point to other factors like a confusing product line-up and slow Android updates as the most likely culprit. Reply
  • Mavendependency - Monday, January 23, 2017 - link

    Their userbase don't care about google updates, since it has most of the features already backported. Besides, IIRC they have weekly builds. Reply
  • WorldWithoutMadness - Tuesday, January 24, 2017 - link

    You pointed out the proper question. I can answer it but it'd be too long. Sometimes result rings more than words. In 2-3 years, you can see for yourself, the sales figure of Xiaomi. Reply
  • WorldWithoutMadness - Tuesday, January 24, 2017 - link

    You pointed out the proper question. I can answer it but it'd be too long. Sometimes result rings more than words. In 2-3 years, you can see for yourself, the sales figure of Xiaomi. Reply
  • Michael Bay - Thursday, January 26, 2017 - link

    racial background always matters. No exception. Reply
  • milkod2001 - Monday, January 30, 2017 - link

    It is actually very important. If they put there for example Chinese person as head of phone manufacturing company it will automatically make people think that they sell cheap Chinese yet another Apple/Samsung copycats. If it was Indian person , people might think about terrible useless phone customer service experience... While in reality those people might be top-notch engineers/managers etc. Reply
  • zodiacfml - Tuesday, January 24, 2017 - link

    I also feel the same with their multiple models for little difference. It is hard to discern which really is it for unless it is a person who knows each and every spec they want. Reply
  • zeeBomb - Tuesday, January 24, 2017 - link

    Will we get reasonably priced Google Phones again? Hopeful. Reply

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