Xiaomi Corp., a three-year old and a fast-growing Chinese smartphone manufacturer got their hands on Hugo Barra, the man who was Google?s vice president of product management for Android. He announced that he?ll be leaving Google in a few weeks from now, and his last notable appearance was during the Nexus 7 launch in San Francisco this summer.
Before joining Google?s ranks in 2008, Barra had worked at Nuance, the company that is known for their speech recognition software and the company behind Apple?s Siri tech. Soon after, he became a head of the Android product management. With Android creator Andy Rubin leaving his position earlier this year, it is a possibility that these are both speed bumps to the Mountain View based company. Then again, nothing might change at all for Android – Barra will continue to work on the platform (though in a different company), and the platform is already incredibly strong.
?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.
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,? Barra wrote on his G+ profile.
According to Canalys research, Xiaomi has already passed Apple?s smartphone shipments in China, and the company seeks to penetrate the international market as soon as possible, in order to compete with the industry giants. Having Barra in their ranks will certainly help with the mission. To put things into perspective, Xiaomi Corp. has a valuation of $10 billion, which compares even with Lenovo. Company plans to reveal their new products on September 5, and it appears that the general idea is to continue bringing a number of cheap(er) and competitive devices running Android and MIUI interface on top.