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Android VP Hugo Barra has left Google for Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi

Android VP Hugo Barra has left Google for Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi

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Google’s VP in charge of Android product management is reportedly leaving the company for Chinese cellphone maker Xiaomi. All Things D reports that Hugo Barra recently tendered his resignation at the company he joined in 2008. All Things D's report suggests that Barra had been in a relationship with a Google employee who is now seeing co-founder Sergey Brin, but that that the relationships are unrelated to Barra's resignation.

Barra had become an increasingly public face at Google, featuring more prominently at its annual I/O developer conferences. Xiaomi has only been making Android phones for the Chinese market for the past two years and despite its brief history has already taken a leading position in the country’s mobile market. Earlier this month, Macworld reported that Xiaomi’s shipments had already surpassed Apple’s there, citing figures from Canalys.

Update: Google has confirmed that Barra has left, saying "We wish Hugo Barra the best. We'll miss him at Google and we're excited that he is staying within the Android ecosystem." The second part of that statement seems to lend credence to the possibility that Barra will indeed be headed to Xiaomi — or at least some company involved with Android. It's not yet known who will be taking over Barra's duties.

Update 2: Hugo Barra himself has announced his departure on his Google+ page, confirming that he will join Xiaomi as a vice president, with the intent to expand the Chinese company's business globally.