In an unexpected move, Hugo Barra, Global Vice President of Chinese Internet of things company Xiaomi, announced that he will be leaving the company in February, once the Chinese New Year kicks in.
Barra made the announcement through a post on Facebook wherein he cited health concerns as well as prolonged time away from friends and family as the main reasons for his decision to part with a company he helped develop globally.
In the post, Barra wrote: “But what I’ve realized 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.”
Although Barra would still be associated with the company as an advisor, his departure has dealt a terrible blow to the company which is already struggling to cope up with its competitors, having pulled back from several overseas markets.
Barra was the most recognized member of the Xiaomi top-brass and arguably one of the best Tech presenters ever. Having left Google’s Android team for Xiaomi, which was then a virtually unknown startup, he was instrumental in making the company a tough competitor to the likes of Samsung and Apple, especially in the country.
For now, the 40-year-old would stay back in China until the next month after which he will be replaced by current IP and Partnerships chief, Xiang Wang. It would be interesting to see how the company copes up with Barra’s exit and also to see what he does at Silicon Valley after catapulting Xiaomi to global fame.