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Hugo Barra leaves Xiaomi to join Facebook’s Oculus VR team

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the joining of Xiaomi’s ex VP Hugo Barra by sharing a picture of them in VR.

Hugo Barra joins Facebook Oculus VR

“I’m excited that Hugo Barra is joining Facebook to lead all of our virtual reality efforts, including our Oculus team. Hugo’s in China right now, so here we are together in VR. It seems fitting,” Mark Zuckerberg said in a Facebook post, as he announced Barra’s next big step. As Hugo Barra exited from his position as VP of China’s Apple, Xiaomi, he decided to go back to Silicon Valley and be closer to his family. But little did we know that Barra would be joining forces with what is turning out to be one of the biggest developments in the future.

Hugo Barra before joining Xiaomi, was the Vice President of Android at Google. He then moved to China to build something big out of Xiaomi, which was only a startup back then in 2013. During Hugo’s stay in Xiaomi, he helped launch the company in Asian markets like Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia and made its way to India, which is among its biggest markets so far.

Zuckerberg, in his Facebook post, said that he has known Hugo ever since his position at Android for Google, and further highlights the excitement of Hugo joining by saying. “Hugo shares my belief that virtual and augmented reality will be the next major computing platform. They’ll enable us to experience completely new things and be more creative than ever before. Hugo is going to help build that future, and I’m looking forward to having him on our team,” Zuck wrote. Below Zuckerberg’s Facebook post is a picture shared which shows him and Hugo in VR which is a pretty cool way to make an announcement.

Hugo also took to Facebook to announce his next move, as he said, “I’m excited to share my next adventure as I return to Silicon Valley—in a couple of months I’ll be joining Facebook as VP of virtual reality (VPVR!) and lead the Oculus team. Hugo recalls Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun’s words of how “the highest calling of an engineer is to make technology breakthroughs quickly and readily available to the widest possible spectrum of humanity”. Keeping that as his mission at Facebook, Hugo says that he looks forward to “building the future of immersive technology” with the Oculus team.

Facebook had been looking for a new head since December, after it moved Oculus’ chief executive officer into the company’s PC-focused VR solutions. Hugo Barra himself helped Xiaomi in churning out its own Mi VR headset and he also believes that this technology will create big waves in the year 2017. Facebook is also believed to be ready to spend over $3 billion in the next 10 years to make VR popular.

Looking back at Hugo’s journey in Xiaomi, he joined the company back in 2013 and slowly developed it into one of the fastest growing smartphone companies. Xiaomi even crossed the $1billion revenue mark in India, but despite its growing popularity, its popularity did not exceed beyond the Asian borders. Xiaomi in its own home market, failed to top the charts with rivals like Huawei, OPPO and Vivo beating it using its own design and model. Xiaomi is yet to see an international launch in markets like western Europe and North America. Hugo’s role is now taken over by Xiang Wang, Xiaomi’s present Senior VP for strategic cooperation. ALSO READ: Who is Xiang Wang? Meet the man taking over from Hugo Barra at Xiaomi

BONUS VIDEO: Hugo Barra teaches how to pronounce Xiaomi

  • Published Date: January 26, 2017 11:36 AM IST