Now We Know: Barra left Xiaomi To Spearhead VR At Facebook

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Image Credit: Geralt / Pixabay

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced in a post that Hugo Barra will be joining the tech giant. Barra, a former Googler and top Xiaomi executive, announced just two days ago that he was leaving the Chinese mobile company to return to Silicon Valley. Now we know that he specifically meant Facebook.

Barra joining Facebook

In the Facebook post, Zuckerberg wrote, “Barra is joining Facebook to lead all of our virtual reality efforts, including our Oculus team. Hugo’s in China right now, so here we are together in VR. It seems fitting.”

Zuckerberg wrote that he has known Barra for a long time, starting when he assisted in developing the Android OS to the last few years when Barra worked at Xiaomi in Beijing to bring innovative devices to millions of people. Zuckerberg said that Barra shares his belief that augmented and virtual reality will be the next major computing platform, allowing them to experience completely new things and be more creative than before.

“Hugo is going to help build that future, and I’m looking forward to having him on our team,” Zuckerberg said.

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Zuckerberg’s post was accompanied by a digital rendering of the two executives that was probably captured by Oculus’ telepresence app. In the photo, the two executives can be seen sitting in what looks like Facebook’s real-world office in Menlo Park, CA.

Barra joining as VP of VR

Hugo Barra is obviously a talented technology executive who worked on the development of Android from 2010 to 2013 at Google. Also he helped raise the global profile of China-based Xiaomi from 2013 onwards.

Recently, Brendan Iribe stepped down from the post of Oculus chief executive to spearhead a PC-focused group. Zuckerberg was not clear if the vacated place would be filled by Barra or someone, but Barra clarified all doubts by tweeting that he is joining Facebook as VP of virtual reality to lead Team Oculus. This now puts him in the same league as Clay Bavor at Google. Now two of the world’s largest tech companies have VPs of VR, notes uploadvr.

Beyond the usual jargon used to introduce a new person to a new technology role, Zuckerberg did not say much in his post. It is still worth noting that this is not only for Oculus but for all of Facebook’s augment reality and virtual reality efforts, which will presumably extend beyond the headset-required Oculus VR experience, notes The Verge.