We’ve confirmed a report today that Android VP Hugo Barra is leaving Google for “Apple of China” Xiaomi.
The report was timed to coincide with another story about the dissolution of Google co-founder Sergey Brin’s marriage to 23andMe co-founder Anne Wojcicki. It also revealed that a person whom Hugo Barra had been in a previous relationship with was now dating Brin.
Barra’s departure was said to be “unrelated” to the above.
Barra had been at Google since March 2008, coming over from Nuance where he was a Product Manager. In his five years at Google he worked his way up from Product Manager to Vice President of Android Product Management and garnered many fans. Xiaomi co-founder/president (and former Googler) Lin Bin himself announced on Sina Weibo that Barra will start as Xiaomi Vice President this October.
According to AllThingsD, the split between Brin and his wife was amicable and will not affect Google from a business standpoint. It’s less clear whether Brin’s new relationship will have a business impact, as all signs point to it being with an individual on the Google Glass Marketing team. Brin oversees Google Glass from a product standpoint, though PR and Marketing do not directly report to him.
Broken glass image via
Update: A Google spokeswoman has also confirmed Barra’s exit and given us this comment, “We wish Hugo Barra the best. We’ll miss him at Google and we’re excited that he is staying within the Android ecosystem.” In addition, Barra has written a goodbye post, on Google+.