Android VP Hugo Barra Departs Google For Xiaomi

Hugo-Barra google lead

Personal issues blow up just as Barra’s blows over to a Chinese smartphone manufacturer

Hugo Barra, vice president for product management for Android at Google, is leaving the company for Chinese smartphone manufacturer Xiaomi.

Barra, who joined Google from speech technology firm Nuance in 2008, has been one of the more public figures associated with Android and was present at the recent launch of the second generation Google Nexus 7 tablet.

Xiaomi is sometimes referred to as “the Apple of China” though it is an Android-powered smartphones for the Chinese market. It takes pride not only in its high-end hardware but also in the software it ships on top of the Google-created mobile operating system – so Barra should fit in well. .

Hugo Barra at Xiaomi

Google, Android © Lyao Shutterstock 2012AllThingsD understands his resignation was tendered before it emerged Google co-founder Sergey Brin had separated from his wife and was now involved with another Google employee that Barra had previously been in a relationship with.

“After nearly 5½ years at Google and almost 3 years as a member of the Android team — the most amazing group of people I’ve ever worked with in my life — I have decided to start a new career chapter,” said Barra in a Google+ post. “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.

“I’m really looking forward to this new challenge, and am particularly excited about the opportunity to continue to help drive the Android ecosystem.”

It has been suggested Barra’s departure could raise uncertainty at Android, especially since the creator of the OS, Andy Rubin, stepped down from his role in March. Android commands 79 percent of the global smartphone market, but there are concerns that Samsung is becoming too synonymous with the platform.

Various reports identify Barra’s ex as Google Glass marketing manager Amanda Rosenberg, a 26-year old Briton, who is now seeing Sergey Brin. The 40-year old Google boss is currently separated from his wife of six years, ~DNA testing mogul Anne  Wojcicki.

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