Hugo Barra to join Xiaomi in October, will look after international operations
Xiaomi has confirmed rumors that Hugo Barra, the former VP of Android product management at Google, is joining the company. The Chinese company’s co-founder Bin Lin announced the development on Chinese micro blogging site Weibo, first spotted by TechInAsia. This is a big win for Xiaomi, which sold over 7 million smartphones in China last year and is looking at selling 20 million smartphones this year, beating its own estimates of 15 million units.
Barra will be a key executive to help Xiaomi achieve its global aspirations. His responsibility at Xiaomi will include international business development and strategic cooperation with Google’s Android crew. He starts in October. (Updated.) Xiaomi already has a bigger market share than Apple in China and recently began selling its phones in Hong Kong and Taiwan. Its latest smartphone, an entry-level RMB 799 model called Red Rice, sold 100,000 units in under 90 seconds and clocked over 7 million preorders.
The resignation of Google’s face of Android is viewed as controversial after a failed relationship with a Googler, who is now rumored to be involved with Google co-founder Sergey Brin. The relationship has led to a split between Brin and his wife of six years, Anne Wojcicki, with whom he has two children.