Xiaomi executive Hugo Barra joins Facebook as Vice President of Oculus Rift VR Division
After taking Xiaomi to great heights, when Hugo Barra decided to put in his papers, all his well wishers and followers had one question. What next Hugo? Barra today answered hundreds of his fans by joining as Vice President at Facebook’s Oculus Rift Virtual Reality (VR) Division.
Social media giant Facebook announced late Wednesday it had recruited Barra, who recently quit a top position with Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi, as its new head of virtual reality. “I’m excited that Hugo Barra is joining Facebook to lead all of our virtual reality efforts, including our Oculus team,” CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced on his personal Facebook page.
Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg himself welcomed Barra to Facebook fold with an FB post. “Hugo shares my belief that virtual and augmented reality will be the next major computing platform. They’ll enable us to experience completely new things and be more creative than ever before,” Zuckerberg wrote. “Hugo is going to help build that future, and I’m looking forward to having him on our team,” he added.
Barra rollercoaster ride which started with Google seems to have found a permanent station at Facebook’s VR division. Barra caused a sensation in 2013 by leaving Google to become a vice president at Xiaomi. Industry watchers and Barra fans were surprised at Barra’s choice as Xiaomi was a little-known company outside of China and was only two years old. However, Barra and his team took Xiaomi to great heights by successfully launching the Redmi brand of Xiaomi smartphones. Barra was also instrumental in making Xioami a billion dollar company and expanding its reach outside China to India. He realised way back before others that China was stagnating as a market even as its economy was slowing down and decided to jump gun on the next best country, India.
He made Xiaomi and its Redmi smartphones a household name in India and helped the company reach new heights in sales. His flash sale method for Xiaomi smartphones and other products also set a new marketing precedent which is being followed even today by the likes of Nokia with its new Nokia 6 Android smartphone launch.
Barra’s only dream that was left unfulfilled was to take Xiaomi to the United States. Though Xiaomi’s smartphones are available in the US they are not as popular as in India or China. He announced Monday he was returning to the United States, saying it was time to return home for a “new adventure”. He did not elaborate.
Barra described his experience with Xiaomi as a “spectacular” journey, but said that the last few years of living “in such a singular environment have taken a huge toll on my life and started affecting my health”.