Xiaomi Vice President Hugo Barra has announced that he’s quitting the company to return to his roots in Silicon Valley.
Barra had joined the Xiaomi in September 2013 after quitting a role at Google where was the Vice President of Android. At Xiaomi, he oversaw its expansion as within a few short years, it became one of the most valuable startups in the world. Recent reports, though, had speculated that Xiaomi $45 billion valuation was untenable.
In a Facebook post, Barra wrote that his journey with Xiaomi had been “spectacular”, but said that it was time for him to return to Silicon Valley. “But what I’ve realized is that the last few years of living in such a singular environment have taken a huge toll on my life and started affecting my health. My friends, what I consider to be my home, and my life are back in Silicon Valley, which is also much closer to my family. Seeing how much I’ve left behind these past few years, it is clear to me that the time has come to return,” he wrote in a blogpost.
Barra had been instrumental in building Xiaomi’s operations in India, where he often worked out of and attended product launches. “We turned India from a dream into Xiaomi’s largest international market with $1 billion in annual revenues, faster than any company in India’s history,” he said.
Barra was seen as one of the most influential people in Android when he’d quit Google to join Xiaomi. In 2011, he was ranked number 23 on Wired Magazine list of Wired 100. While at Xiaomi, he’d become the face of the company in India, launching products and speaking at keynotes. Apart from being a popular speaker, he’d also often gone the extra mile as his company’s brand ambassador, doing a planking challenge last year to promote Xiaomi’s Redmi 3S phone.