On Monday, Hugo Barra announced that he would be leaving Xiaomi for a return to Silicon Valley. More specifically, it turns out, Menlo Park, where the headquarters of Facebook is located.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced that Barra would be joining Facebook to lead all of the company’s virtual reality efforts, including its Oculus team. Along with the brief announcement, Zuckerberg included a digital rendering of himself and Barra at Facebook’s real-life offices in California.
“It’s been a dream of mine to work in virtual reality even back when AR/VR were just figments of science fiction; now we’re taking selfies in virtual worlds,” Barra said in a comment on the post.
Before coming to Xiaomi to work as its Vice President of International, Barra helped lead the development of Android at Google. His hire in September 2013 helped to raise the Chinese company’s global profile.
But, it turns out that living in Beijing was not ideal for the 40-year-old tech exec. In a Facebook post, Barra described how “the last few years of living in such a singular environment have taken a huge toll on my life and started affecting my health.”
However, it’s also true that following a hot start, Xiaomi’s engine has stalled over the past year. In 2016, Xiaomi declined to provide annual sales figures for the first time and admitted that it had grown too quickly, raising concerns that the company isn’t doing so hot and speculation that Barra picked the right time to split.
Maybe with all of Facebook’s resources he’ll now be able to figure out how to get fitness trackers to work for black people.
Follow Shanghaiist on WeChat