Hugo Barra says bye to Xiaomi, hello again to Silicon Valley

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Hugo Barra joined Xiaomi nearly four years ago.

James Martin/CNET

Xiaomi’s international VP Hugo Barra took to Facebook earlier today to announce he’d be leaving his position with the Chinese company in February of this year.

After serving as the public face and VP of global operations for Xiaomi for over three years, Barra said that he’d be leaving Beijing and returning to Silicon Valley.

Prior to his work with Xiaomi, Barra worked in product management at Google and served as spokesperson for Google’s Android division. He joined the then-fledgling Chinese company “with the opportunity to help turn a young rockstar startup into a global player.”

His statement today shed some light on his departure, citing personal reasons:

“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.”

Bin Lin, co-founder and president of Xiaomi, replied to the Facebook post, thanking Barra for his service and announcing that his role would be filled by Xiang Wang, Xiaomi’s current senior vice president.

He also said that Barra and Xiaomi weren’t parting ways entirely. The previous international VP will still be “working closely with [Lin] in his new role as advisor to Xiaomi.”

Xiaomi pointed to Lin’s statement when asked for comment.

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