Big news in the tech world today centers around the departure of Hugo Barra from Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG). Barra served as the company’s vice president in charge of Android product development. The news is important because Barra left Google to head to one of China’s largest smartphone makers, and he is entangled in Google founder Sergey Brin’s love life.
Hugo Barra left Google in order to take a Vice President position at Xiaomi, the so-called “Apple of China.” The company is privately owned, and does its best to cultivate an Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) like image. Its Chairman Lei Jun wears jeans and black shirts. The company has an estimated worth of around $10 billion, the same size as the world’s biggest PC maker Lenovo.
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Google love triangle
According to a report from AllThingsD today, Mr. Barra has in the past been linked romantically with a Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) employee who is now seeing the company’s co-founder Sergey Brin. Sources speaking to the site said that Barra was not aware of the relationship when he tendered his resignation at Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG).
Sergey Brin is now separated from his wife according to new report by AllThingsD this morning. Sources also told the site about the relationship between Brin and one of his employees at Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG). The fact that all of this news has been released on the same day is interesting, but doesn’t point to any serious problems at Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG).
The joint statement released by Brin and his wife Anne Wojcicki said the two remained good friends and partners. The couple have been married for six years, and have two children together. The couple are not yet legally separated, and it was not made clear whether they would seek a divorce.
Rivals in China
The company that Barra has defected to, Xiaomi, is an unknown in the western world. The company is privately owned, so it offers little to investors in the West, and its dearth of products outside of China means that few consumers are aware of the company.
$10 billion is paltry compared to the size of the biggest Western tech companies, but it is still worth noting. Barra may have moved onto the next big thing in tech, and investors will be watching for signs of a public offering.