Hugo Barra Leaving Xiaomi To Go Back to Silicon Valley

In a move bound to surprise many, Hugo Barra today announced that he will be stepping down from his role of Vice President for Xiaomi for international markets. The move comes after Barra joined Xiaomi 3.5 years ago and has helped the company make a global presence since then.

Barra was previously the Senior Vice President and product spokesperson for Android at Google. When he joined Xiaomi back in 2013, the move came as a shock to many.

Hugo notes that Xiaomi is “in a very good place on its global expansion path,” with the company posting $1 billion in revenues in India, launching a product in association with Google at CES 2017, and expanding to Russia, Mexico, and Poland.

In his announcement, Barra notes that working at Xiaomi has taken a toll on his life as he has had to stay away from his family, friends, and his home, all of which are back in Silicon Valley. Thus, he will be returning to Silicon Valley for a new adventure now.

As I thought about this late last year, I concluded that Xiaomi is in a very good place on its global expansion path, and if there was ever going to be a good time for me to come back home, that time is now — when I can confidently say our global business is no longer just an in-house startup. 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 3 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.

Barra will be leaving Xiaomi in February following the Chinese New Year. He will be taking some time off after which he will be returning to Silicon Valley.

Xiaomi might be struggling in China against rivals like Oppo, Vivo, and Huawei, but under Barra’s leadership, the company has grown exponentially in foreign markets, especially in India where Xiaomi became the fastest company to reach the $1 billion revenue mark.

[Via Hugo Barra]