Hugo Barra Leaves Android For China's Xiaomi

MIT graduate Hugo Barra is leaving Google and heading for China to oversee the global expansion of smartphone firm Xiaomi.

Hugo Barra, Google's VP of Android Product Management, is to leave the firm after five years. The Googler announced the news on Google+, informing his followers of his next destination: A Chinese smartphone firm called Xiaomi.

"In a few weeks, I'll be joining the Xiaomi team in China to help them expand their incredible product portfolio and business globally -- as Vice President, Xiaomi Global," he wrote. "I'm really looking forward to this new challenge, and am particularly excited about the opportunity to continue to help drive the Android ecosystem."

Little is known about Xiaomi but, as TheNextWeb points out, it's often compared to Apple or Amazon, since its main business is in content. Xiaomi is a bit late to the smartphone business--it only started building handsets a couple of years ago and its speciality is building customized versions of Android devices. The company's valuation is around $10 billion. As we all know, Android dominates the mobile market in China, so it could be said that Barra is going to the right place.

[Image: Flickr user maltman23]

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