Hugo Barra quits Xiaomi, returning back to Silicon Valley
Hugo Barra is leaving his position as head of international at Xiaomi after 3.5 years
Xiaomi‘s international VP Hugo Barra took to Facebook earlier today to announce he’d be leaving his position with the Chinese company in February of this year. After serving as the public face and VP of global operations for Xiaomi for over three years, Barra said that he’d be leaving Beijing and returning to Silicon Valley.
Working at Xiaomi was “the greatest and most challenging adventure of my life,” Barra wrote in a lengthy Facebook post, but added that years of “living in such a singular environment have taken a huge toll on my life and started affecting my health.” After rounding up the company’s achievements he said he will leave the company in February to start a “new adventure back in Silicon Valley.”
He will conclude his Xiaomi tenure after the Chinese New Year next month, and will return to Silicon Valley — where he served as Google’s vice president of Android product management until 2013.
While Xiaomi’s international presence has been improving, its performance at home in China has been steadily declining. Having once been the darling of the Chinese smartphone market, Xiaomi dropped out of the top five smartphone vendors in 2016, and it didn’t even register a mention in IDC’s latest market share numbers. So while Barra puts the cause of his resignation down to a sense of homesickness, it’s also inarguable that Xiaomi has struggled to live up to its ambitious goals.
India has been Xiaomi’s brightest spot, Barra himself has spent plenty of time in the country and Xiaomi said that it reached $1 billion in annual revenue in India for the first time in 2016. Xiaomi co-founder Bin Lin, also a former Google executive, said senior vice president Xiang Wang would lead Xiaomi’s international business going forward. Wang, a former head of Qualcomm China, joined Xiaomi in 2015 and previously led its supply chain and intellectual property teams.