Hugo Barra Leaves Xiaomi To Join Facebook As Oculus VPVR

A new dynamic duo is forming in Silicon Valley. Hugo Barra, the former Android executive who left Google and took a position at Chinese firm Xiaomi around three and a half years ago, is returning to U.S. soil to team up with Mark Zuckerberg on his virtual reality efforts. Barra joins Zuckerberg and the rest of Facebook as the new Vice President of Virtual Reality, or VPVR for short, and will lead the Oculus team.

Hugo Barra

It has been an interesting journey for Barra. He surprised many in the tech industry when he traded his job at Google to go overseas to work for a mobile device firm. Barra viewed it as a "new career chapter" though one thing he did not anticipate was feeling homesick.

"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," Barra said earlier this week.
Now we know the other reason he is returning, which is to be part of the fast growing VR movement that Oculus is directly responsible for kickstarting (pun intended). It should be a smooth transition, as Zuckerberg has known Barra for a long time.

"Hugo shares my belief that virtual and augmented reality will be the next major computing platform. They'll enable us to experience completely new things and be more creative than ever before. Hugo is going to help build that future, and I'm looking forward to having him on our team," Zuckerberg stated in a Facebook post.

Working on VR should prove more exciting for Barra than continuing to spin his tires at Xiaomi. Back in November, Barra explained that Xiaomi hasn't been profiting on smartphone sales, which might explain why the company's global sales have been on a downward trend. On top of that, the smartphone sector in general has not seen a ton of innovation as of late, where as VR is an emerging field with enormous potential.