Hugo Barra, vice president of Xiaomi’s international business, and probably the most iconic face of the Chinese electronics company, has left the building. Permanently.
In a lengthy post on his Facebook wall, Barra reflects on how his time at Xiaomi has been the “the greatest and most challenging adventure of my life“, but residing in China had taken a toll on his health, due to its “singular environment”.
Seeing how far Xiaomi has come in the past few years, and how it is currently “in a very good place on its global expansion path”, Barra had come to the conclusion that it was time to return home.
According to Xiaomi’s co-founder Lin Bin, the company’s senior vice-president Xiang Wang will be leading the company’s global expansion.
Meanwhile, Barra will continue serving as advisor to the company.
An Emotive Goodbye
In his post, he talks about how he moved to Beijing 3.5 years ago, leaving his comfortable life and family behind in the Silicon Valley, to become part of the team that transformed a “young rockstar startup into a global player”.
At that time, his decision to join Xiaomi had been considered a momentous win for the Chinese company, as it was almost unprecedented that such a prestigious Android executive would jump ship from Google.
Barra shared on how the journey has been “nothing short of spectacular”, as they turned India into Xiaomi’s largest international market at a rate “faster than any company in India’s history”.
After that, it was history, with the company’s subsequent expansion into multiple markets including Singapore, Malaysia, and Russia.
At the thought of leaving Xiaomi behind, Barra expressed his inner conflict at leaving behind “some of the most remarkable and enthusiastic people I have ever worked with”.
However, he also shares about his confidence in them, noting that the company now has a “strong, globally-minded executive team who will continue to drive the momentum [they] began together”.
On the note of founder and CEO Lei Jun, Barra expresses gratitude for the man’s friendship as well as mentorship, describing the experience of working alongside him as being “humbling and uplifting”.
A Reciprocation From Bin Lin
In his own Facebook post, Bin Lin shares how the team, with Barra, have come a long way on such an amazing adventure.
And “as much as we would love to have Hugo stay with us in Beijing for a much longer time, we understand his personal challenges and wish him all the best in his future endeavors.”
A New Life In The Valley
Barra has made plans to leave Xiaomi after Chinese New Year, noting that the Spring Festival in China will bring new beginnings for everyone, and himself, as he returns home to Silicon Valley.
As for what he plans to do next, no one knows yet, as he ends off his goodbye note with his plans to take a sabbatical from work before he embarks “on a new adventure“.
Whatever he decides to do however, it is clear that the world will be watching.
Featured Image Credit: Forbes