Hugo Barra will no longer be the Vice President of International for Xiaomi. On his Facebook page, he wrote that “living in such a singular environment have taken a huge toll on my life and started affecting my health.” He will be returning to Silicon Valley after leaving the company in February.
The executive joined the company in 2013 from leading marketing for Google’s Android. He traveled between Beijing and Bangalore, India, and has helped the Chinese start-up spread its influence across two dozen countries. The company, known for its value-for-dollar smartphones, entered the US market last year with an Android TV box. It announced that it will take at least another year before importing its smartphones over.
Barra called his term at Xiaomi “nothing short of spectacular in every way”.
“As I thought about this late last year, I concluded that Xiaomi is in a very good place on its global expansion path, and if there was ever going to be a good time for me to come back home,” Barra said, “that time is now — when I can confidently say our global business is no longer just an in-house startup.”
Xiaomi co-founder Bin Lin commented on Barra’s announcement, thanking him for his service and mentioning that he will transition to being an advisor to the company. Senior Vice President Xiang Wang has been tapped to lead international work.
“We have ambitious expansion plans for 2017 and are confident in Xiang’s leadership to take our global business to even greater heights!,” Lin said.
Barra is Brazilian by birth and has multiple degrees from MIT.