Hugo Barra, the public face of Xiaomi, is leaving the company.
Barra announced today he is leaving what is often referred to as “Apple of China” after over three-and-a-half years of his stay at the company. Barra served as Vice President of Xiaomi’s Global efforts. Under his leadership, the Chinese company expanded to India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and more recently, the European and US markets. Â
Without noting where he intends to go next, the former Googler said his rigorous job has taken a toll on his health, and hinted that he will be moving back to Silicon Valley. Before joining Xiaomi, Barra was at Google for nearly six years serving various top roles including Director of Product Management for Mobile and Android. Â
“I concluded that Xiaomi is in a very good place on its global expansion path, and if there was ever going to be a good time for me to come back home, that time is now,” he shared with his fans and friends on Facebook. “I can confidently say our global business is no longer just an in-house startup,” he added.Â
“We expanded into Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, and more recently 20 other markets including Russia, Mexico, and Poland. We teamed up with Google to launch our first official product in the US, and with our successful debut at CES 2017 â where we won 3 prestigious awards â the world now sees that Xiaomi is a global player changing the tech industry through our simple promise of bringing innovation to everyone,” he added.Â
Though Hugo paints a bright picture of Xiaomi, his departure comes at a time when the Chinese technology conglomerate is undergoing several strategic changes. Earlier this month, CEO and co-founder Lei Jung admitted that the company grew too fast and didn’t disclose the annual sales figure. Xiaomi has lost out to local rivals like Huawei, Vivo and Oppo in China and barring India, it hasn’t been able to make a mark in most international markets.Â
It remains to be seen who will take over Barra’s role at Xiaomi, and where will Barra go next.Â