Hugo Barra was one of the leading faces of Android at Google, but his surprising departure over to phone maker Xiaomi last month has left many wondering what that means for both companies. It's clear that Google has a number of strong choices to fill his shoes, but in an in-depth interview with All Things D, Barra begins to elaborate on what this could mean for Xiaomi. "I do my job right, in a few years, the world will be talking about Xiaomi in the same way that they talk about Google and Apple today," Barra says.
Of course, he has a long way to go. ATD reports that Barra is just starting to learn Chinese, and when he starts work in October, he'll need to help Xiaomi continue to produce quality devices at affordable prices. But he thinks the company is off to a strong start, which is part of what drew him over there in the first place. "What they were doing was pretty phenomenal," Barra tells ATD. "It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity." Because Xiaomi is so young, Barra will have a lot more work in front of him. "Now I have to learn how to run a real business," Barra says, "operationally standing it up on its legs.”