Former Google, Xiaomi exec Hugo Barra starts leading Facebook’s VR team

Hugo Barra, the key face behind the growth of Android and the one who brought China’s Xiaomi to the many global smartphone markets including India and the US, has formally joined Facebook. Barra is set to lead the virtual reality (VR) business at the social network and will work on enhancing Oculus.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg confirmed the new hiring just in a week’s time after Barra announced his departure from Xiaomi.

“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. Hugo is going to help build that future, and I’m looking forward to having him on our team,” 32-year-old Zuckerberg writes in a Facebook post.

Man in Black – Hugo Barra with Mi fans (Centre)

Barra stepped down as Xiaomi’s vice president after spending three-and-a-half years. Under his leadership, the Shenzhen-based company entered not just in India and many other emerging markets as well as started its operations in the US but also became one of the world’s leading smartphone companies.

“I moved to Beijing, 6,500 miles out of my comfort zone in Silicon Valley, to build from scratch a startup team within a bigger startup. This journey has been nothing short of spectacular in every way, and I can proudly say that Xiaomi Global is the first baby I helped bring into the world,” wrote Barra.

Before Xiaomi, Barra served as VP of Android Product Management at Google. He worked with CEO Sundar Pichai to bring Android closer to developers and launched the first range of Nexus hardware.