Who Is Hugo Barra and Why Is He Leaving Google?

technology, business, google. smartphone, china, chinese, android, hugo barra

Hugo Barra has an unofficial fanpage on Facebook and joined Google in 2008. He had an impressive resume prior to joining the search engine, mecca. Barra originally launched LOBBY7, Inc. in early 2000, before joining Nuance Communications in the summer of 2004. He merged into the UK Google mobile market in 2008, working his way to Vice President of Android Product Management. His climb through the corporate world wasn’t missed by a Xiaomi. The Chinese phone maker is making a splash overseas and it wants a powerhouse figure leading the way. Enter a business deal, and the voice behind the Nexus 7 tablet is departing Google.

Just earlier this year Barra had attended Google’s annual conference to brag about the specs behind the Nexus 7 tablet. He discussed the features specifically for developers, touting the addition of the Google Play services. The dark-haired Brazilian has been a public voice for Google, and earned accolades for connecting with the tech industry. He will be a missed voice at conventions nationally, especially with his knowledge and excitement of the product.

Currently, rumors are releasing there may be more than a new job behind Barra’s departure. Reportedly, the handsome VP was dating a co-worker, and that relationship came to a bitter end. Especially, when unnamed co-worker started dating  the company’s co-founder Sergey Brin. Brin is reportedly in his own relationship and was married, and yes- this gets very confusing. It sounds more like an episode from Desperate Housewives.

Barra denies the reason behind his leaving the Android division is due to any relationship connections. It can be certain, it’s not the sole reason, but it can be part of a bigger reason. The Android team is still feeling sore from Andy Rubin, the genius mind behind Android, who left the division to begin a new “chapter at Google.” With Barra now leaving the company completely, the mobile division is feeling a bit shaky over at Android. Leaving Google for a growing company creates a bit of whispered hesitations, but one can definitely see the benefit for Barra.

Xiaomi is slamming sales like a starving family at a buffet. The smartphone company sold over 7 million handsets last year. This year? Company profits predict the impressive firm will double that amount very easily. President Bin Lin expressed the core of Xiaomi is to sell various smartphones at cost. Lin offers a respectable view on smartphones, something that may had appealed to Barra. Lin states the company is focusing on services of the phone, instead of hammering out device after device.

The company is just three years old, yet Lin and the rest of the world is watching the company profits rise drastically. The secret to Xiaomi’s success? Reduce the price on feature-high cell phones. One example, per Lin, is Xiaomi’s flagship phone- the Xiaomi MI-2. Lin states the phone has the same specs as the Galaxy S4, but costs half as much, “We essentially price our phones at bill-of-materials.” The product sell-out rates are intense. Once listed on the site- 300,000 smartphones are sold in less than five minutes.

With the amazing and continuously growing world of Xiaomi, one doesn’t have to think twice why Barra is making the change. Barra has been a long-time seeker of change and developed himself quickly with dominance and knowledge. He is someone looking to keep growing and it seems Xiaomi provided something Google could not. A market that is new, growing and provides the leverage of low cost smartphones with high-spec variances. Good luck to Hugo Barro! And, by the way, when can we expect to see Xiaomi MI-2 in the States?

Angelina Bouc

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