Barra announced the news today on Facebook, saying that “the last few years of living in such a singular environment have taken a huge toll on my life and started affecting my health.” He explains that his friends and home are in Silicon Valley, and is family is much closer to that part of the globe than his current home in Beijing.
Barra says that he’ll leave his role as Global Vice President of Xiaomi in February after the Chinese New Year. Barra doesn’t say where he’ll be headed next, only that he’s going to “take some much-needed time off” before starting his next job. He does say that he plans on staying on at Xiaomi as an advisor.
Hugo Barra is a big name in the smartphone world. Before joining Xiaomi in August 2013, he was Google’s VP of product management for Android. During his time at Xiaomi, he helped to build the company into a major player in the international market. It remains to be seen whether or not he’ll remain in mobile, but you can bet that we’ll be keeping an eye on where he lands next.