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Hugo Barra Leaving Google and Heading to China to join Xiaomi

August 28, 2013 - Written By Alexander Maxham

Lately, we’ve been talking a lot about a few Chinese manufacturers. One in particular, Xiaomi, who has been about as popular Samsung is in China. Today, AllThingsD is reporting that Hugo Barra who is the Vice President of Product Management for Android, is heading overseas to Xiaomi. Barra has been very popular in the public. In fact he’s the guy that always shows off new devices. He showed us the Galaxy S4 Google Play Edition at Google I/O this year and the Nexus 7 at last years’ I/O.

Sources are stating that Barra is leaving for Xiaomi which is a fast growing Chinese manufacturer. Xiaomi builds Android phones for the Chinese market who prides itself not only on its high-end hardware but also the software they add on top of Google’s mobile OS.

Back in 2008, Barra joined Google, rising through the company from group product manager all the way to vice president of Android product manager. Barra went from Nuance over to Google, and now heading to Xiaomi. Barra had recently tendered his resignation, according to sources, but that came before a recent personal situation related to the end of a romantic relationship he had with another Googler. Sources state that this was unrelated to Barra leaving the company. That particular Googler is now with the company co-founder Sergey Brin.

This departure is very significant for Google’s Android division. Earlier this year, Andy Rubin left the Android division and headed over to the X labs. Barra’s departure could result with ripples in one of Google’s most important departments. With Rubin and Barra now out of the Android division, that leaves us wondering where Google is going with Android.

As usual, Android is still facing plenty of problems. With the biggest one being fragmentation. Although Google seems to have, at least tried, to fix fragmentation with posting many apps into the Play Store. Like the keyboard, Google Play Services, Hangouts and a few others. Now we’re all left wondering, who’s going to replace Hugo at Google. But we’ll be looking to see who takes his place. It probably won’t be Sundar Pichai.