Google Android VP Hugo Barra Punches Out, Headed for Chinese Smartphone Company Xiaomi

Google is losing one of its major figure heads for the Android the platform. After nearly five years at Google and almost three and a half years serving the Android team, Hugo Barra tendered his resignation as he embarks on a "new career chapter" in China, Barra announced on his Google+ page late last night.

"In a few weeks, I'll be joining the Xiaomi team in China to help them expand their incredible product portfolio and business globally -- as Vice President, Xiaomi Global," Barra stated. "I'm really looking forward to this new challenge, and am particularly excited about the opportunity to continue to help drive the Android ecosystem."

Hugo Barra

Barra's seemingly sudden departure comes amid questionable circumstances. Citing "sources close to the situation," AllThingsD reports Barra was recently involved in a "thorny personal situation" that has to do with the end of an office romance he was engaged in with another Google employee. That employee is now involved romantically with Google co-founder Sergey Brin. That can make for quite the awkward office environment, though sources tell AllThingsD Barra's decision to resign is unrelated and was made before his ex-romance began dating Brin.

Regardless of how or why this all went down, Barra's departure is a blow to the Android platform. Not only does Google lose a charismatic individual who was a frequent figure at press events and Google's annual I/O developer conference, it also leaves a question mark as to where Android is headed. It was only a few months ago that Andy Rubin, creator of Android, stepped aside as chief of the mobile platform (he was replaced by Sundar Pichai), and now this.