The prominent technology executive and the man behind Xiaomi’s global success, Hugo Barra has announced to leave the Chinese smartphone maker, citing his health concerns and a new job in Silicon Valley.
Barra, who was once the face of Google, joined the Chinese electronics giant Xiaomi in September 2013. At Xiaomi he was the Vice President in charge of global operations, the working force behind its international expansion.
In a Facebook post today Barra said he was leaving the company after three-and-a-half years for a new project based in Silicon Valley.
He further said that living in such a singular environment have taken a huge toll on his life and started affecting his health.
Seeing how much I’ve left behind these past few years, it is clear to me that the time has come to return.
At Xiaomi Hugo Barra was responsible for the global success of Mi and Redmi smartphones line up. Recently he introduced the bezel-less concept Mi MIX smartphone along with Xiaomi’s VR headsets and controllers.
Things aren’t going well for Xiaomi:
Although Barra said that Xiaomi is in a very good place on its global expansion path, things aren’t going so well for Xiaomi in the home market as it is trying to adjust its strategy.
Once considered to be world’s most valuable startup with a valuation of $45 billion, Xiaomi fell out of the top five in China for smartphone vendors in 2016.
While it performed well in India, Xiaomi has pulled back from several international markets including Singapore and Brazil last year.
This could be the reason that Xiaomi is now growing the offline retail presence rather then expanding the online sales network. The company is also looking to expand into other industries, especially in the software market and financial sector.
Hugo Barra’s departure could prove to be a huge set back for Xiaomi. However, it’s Chief Executive Officer Lei Jun is hopeful that “the worst is over” and Xiaomi will make a strong comeback in 2017.