Xiaomi exec Hugo Barra leaves Chinese handheld maker

Hugo Barra left Google back in 2013 to join Chinese cellphone maker Xiaomi. After leading many of the company's biggest initiatives over the last few years, Barra is now departing, with his sights set on a return to Silicon Valley. Barra announced his resignation today on Facebook, citing the toll the job has taken on his life and health in addition to keeping him far away from his family. Xiaomi says Barra's departure is entirely for personal reasons, and told the Wall Street Journal that Barra would continue to advise the company.

Barra helped push Xiaomi out of China and into other countries, including a successful push in India. However, Xiaomi has had difficulty breaking into other markets despite releasing some intriguing products like the stunning Mi Mix edgeless phone.

While Xiaomi's focus has been turned outward, however, its market share in its home country has dropped, according to analyst and research firm IDC. The company saw its cellphone shipments drop from 17.1 million in early 2015 to just 10.5 million at the same time in 2016—a decline of nearly 40%. "It's important for [Xiaomi] to put their resources back into China to bring momentum back for their smartphone business," said Canalys China Research Director Nicole Peng, speaking to the WSJ.

Barra hasn't yet announced whether he has a new gig lined up back home, or where he might be looking.

Comments closed
    • Erebos
    • 3 years ago

    Failure to penetrate the market of Brazil was a major hit for Xiaomi and Barra. That’s why they concentrated in India, the premium segment of China and home electronics after that. Problem is that Huawei is the big player in China now.

    • wingless
    • 3 years ago

    The pollution in Beijing would certainly make you want to GTFO of there. If he has a spouse and kids living with him in Beijing, that would be a big impetus to leave. A 40% decline in shipments helped ease the move as well I bet.

    Phone manufacturers should understand that people don’t buy a new phone every year. A lot of us keep our phones for 2 years or more. The entire industry has seen peaks and troughs in sales over the years because of this and it should be expected.

    • albundy
    • 3 years ago

    40% drop in product shipment is not a good sign. sounds like its ready to declare bankruptcy, restructure, or merge. any one of those avenues is a giant $hitshow. not long before the CPA and lawyer vultures will finish off what remains. when you remove a pillar, all the others fall pretty fast. he made a good move though. no company is worth your life and health. hopefully he can recover.

      • DancinJack
      • 3 years ago

      I’m pretty sure that was just for one quarter. I don’t think you need sound the alarms on bankruptcy quite yet there al.

    • DancinJack
    • 3 years ago

    I genuinely hope he comes back to Google. I think now that Google is “making” its own phone/watch hardware, it’d be a perfect time to him to have input on design.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This