Hugo Barra is Global VP, the man behind the expansion of Xiaomi beyond China, has stated in a Facebook post that he would be leaving Xiaomi. Hugo would be going back to the Silicon Valley from where he came and joined Xiaomi 3.5 years back.
Hugo at that point in time was working as the Vice president for product development for Android.
Hugo Barra writes “the last few years of living in such a singular environment have taken a huge toll on my life and started affecting my health.”
While his rise in Xiaomi and expansion of the brand from China to India and other 20 other global markets like Russia, Indonesia, Singapore, and Malaysia has been a dream run.
The 1 billion dollar revenue from the Indian arm has been phenomenal, Hugo Barra has been the face of Xiaomi in India along with Manu Jain. I still remember the day Xiaomi launched in India, partnering with Flipkart. They revolutionized the online sales model, more specifically introduced the flash sales with the Xiaomi Mi3. Mi3 powered by a Snapdragon 800 for Rs 13000 was an irresistible deal. Xiaomi has become a household name in India thanks to huge efforts by Hugo Barra and Xiaomi India team.
I met with him briefly in 2015 at a launch event in New Delhi. He strikes you as a vibrant, highly energetic, charismatic leader who can keep you spellbound with his enchanted talk.
Xiaomi is going to miss him and so does a lot of Xiaomi fans in India. His place at Xiaomi will be taken by Xiang Wang. While everyone is replaceable in an organization but some people leave their mark very strongly. But I have seen in 9 years of my corporate career that the positions are filled, but the difference that individuals make to an organization is not. Just to put the thought in right perspective Steve Jobs and Apple. Or even Anand Shimpi of Anandtech (which I adored for years, not much now), made a huge difference.
I cant say if it will make a huge difference to Xiaomi’s expansion and future plans, only time will tell but definitely, Hugo was the key man that helped them build a very strong brand name.
Nevertheless, we wish Hugo a grand success in his future venture in Silicon Valley and more importantly his health.