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Android VP Hugo Barra says farewell to Google, confirms he is joining Xiaomi

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Hugo Barra with Nexus 7 2013
Hugo Barra with Nexus 7 2013

Hugo Barra has just confirmed the surprising news that he is leaving his role as VP in charge of Android product management to take a job with Chinese manufacturer Xiaomi. In his post, Barra says that he will be "vice president, Xiaomi global" and will "help them expand their incredible product portfolio and business globally." He wishes the current Android team the best, specifically calling out Andy Rubin, Hiroshi Lockheimer, Sundar Pichai, and Vic Gundotra.

If there's a hint as to how Google will distribute Barra's duties at Android in that list, we can't say, but obviously Andy Rubin isn't likely to come back to the division and Sundar Pichai oversees both Android and several other products within Google. Pichai, in a Google+ post of his own, congratulated Barra on "his exciting new adventure" and says that "we'll miss him."

Despite the sunny attitudes about Barra's sudden departure, it leaves what can only be called a leadership vacuum inside Android, especially since Andy Rubin himself left Android for the Google X division last March. So far, no one has commented on rumors that Barra's resignation is related to a personal relationship with a coworker.