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The former Googler said at the time that he was returning to Silicon Valley, giving no clue as to what he’d actually be doing.
Now, it’s been announced that Barra will be joining Facebook and Oculus — and not just in any old role. In fact, he’ll be the vice-president of VR, leading Oculus and Facebook’s VR efforts in general.
“I’m excited that Hugo Barra is joining Facebook to lead all of our virtual reality efforts, including our Oculus team,” Zuckerberg wrote on the social network.
Hugo Barra will lead virtual reality initiatives at Facebook and Oculus, following just over three and a half years at Xiaomi
“I’ve known Hugo for a long time, starting when he helped develop the Android operating system, to the last few years he’s worked at Xiaomi in Beijing bringing innovative devices to millions of people.”
In a post on his own Facebook account, Barra shed light on the decision.
“Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun always says that the highest calling of an engineer is to make technology breakthroughs quickly and readily available to the widest possible spectrum of humanity,” he explained, adding that this would be his mission at Facebook.
Barra joined Xiaomi in 2013, overseeing the brand’s expansion to numerous markets, including Singapore, India, Malaysia and Brazil. The brand also launched in South Africa at the tail-end of 2015, via a partnership with Mobile In Africa.
The Brazilian will however remain an advisor to Xiaomi on an “indefinite” basis.