Hugo Barra leaves Google for Xiaomi. Reasons: not of romantic nature

by: Chris SmithAugust 28, 2013

New Nexus 7

A top Android executive is reportedly leaving Google and taking a job with China-based Xiaomi, a new report says, suggesting that he has resigned before a personal matter involving other Googlers may have pushed him to do so.

Hugo Barra, Google’s Vice President of Product Management for Android or the guy we kept seeing on stage during various Android-related events in the past years, is reportedly leaving the company.

According to sources familiar with the matter that spoke with AllThingsD, Barra is leaving to take a job with Xiaomi, the extremely popular Chinese Android handset maker.

The reasons for his departure are currently unknown, but it looks like Barra has “tendered his resignation, […] before a recent personal situation related to the end of a romantic relationship he had with another Googler” and is unrelated.

We normally wouldn’t be interested in such matters, but it looks like this particular romantic relationship involves one of Google’s co-founders.

Apparently Sergey Brin has separated with his wife, and he’s in a new relationship with a Google employee – apparently the Googler Barra split up with at some point before resigning from Google. We won’t further dwell into matters of the heart on this one, but we’ll add that a divorce between Sergey Brin and Anne Wojcicki won’t result in troubles for Google, as there’s a prenup in place that will protect Brin’s Google voting powers.

Interestingly though, Wojcicki’s sister remains a top executive at Google – Senior Vice President of Advertising and Commerce – and happens to be the owner of the garage where Google established its first headquarters “in its formative days.”

Moving back to Barra, it’s not clear what he’ll do at Xiaomi, when his employment with Google will end, or who will replace him at Google:

[quote qtext=”A Google representative could not immediately say how Barra’s responsibilities will be handled. Barra was not immediately available for comment.” qperson=”” qsource=”” qposition=”center”]

We’ll certainly keep an eye out on this one, as it’s certainly an important event in Android’s history, with Barra being the second top exec that leaves Android after Andy Rubin.

Barra was most recently seen on stage during Google’s Nexus 7 (2013) media event.

  • LordCupcake

    Am I the only one who made sure today wasn’t April Fools?

    • Cole Raney

      I know. This and the Nintendo 2ds have me wondering if everyone just skipped a few months until April.

  • spacemonkey82

    > Interestingly though, Wojcicki’s remains a top executive at Google

    and where did you get this factoid?

    you probably meant to say her sister Susan Wojcicki works at google.

    • Nate Swanner

      It’s been edited to reflect that. You’re correct.

    • Mobile Phones Fan

      Yeah, seems he’s conflated the two talented sisters — Susan (long-time Googler) and Anne (23andMe founder plus 6-year Mrs. Brin) — into a single, mega-multitasking Wojcicki. Whoops.

      • I’ve edited it to reflect as much. You’re both correct about the error.

  • Nitinart Nunthong

    Andy left ,and now Hugo leaves. As an Android fan , I feel so sad. :(

    • Piyush

      Andy Rubin is still in Google but at different post.

    • Ivan Myring


  • Ronka

    “…with Barra being the second top exec that leaves Android after Andy Rubin.”

    Isn’t he the third? Or did JBQ not leave after all? :-/

    • Agent After

      You’re right. What about JBQ?

      • JBQ didn’t leave Android, he just quit from AOSP head, as far as I know.

  • Ruz

    Whatever may be the reason. Good bye

  • Vishal Khedkar

    I don’t like this, I always loved to see him on stage. :(

  • End in sight

    So it seems like it goes something like this: Hugo was dating Amanda and then they broke up. Then Sergey starts dating Amanda. Or maybe Sergey “steals” her away from him? Or maybe she plays them against each other? Whether Sergey leaves his wife and kids before or after Amanda is uncertain.This apparently makes Hugo pissed at the thought of his boss sleeping with his ex. So, he flashes his free agent badge and Xiaomi makes him an offer he can’t refuse. Then Hugo quits Google.

    I hate to sound like an a$$, but as an Android nerd, after reading this story, I feel a little like the development of my phone OS is only second priority to other people’s sexual cravings. You know, like, “if leaders quit and the OS suffers, oh well, at least someone important had fun.” Complicated love triangles.

  • Luka Mlinar

    Shouldn’t big company’s have rules when it comes to office romances.

    • picassa

      probably, but it’s kinda hard to keep rules if their top execs also have romances with co-worker.. like larry page & marissa mayer back then

      • Luka Mlinar

        True that. I always thought the reason why Dennis Woodside hired Regina Dugan was a bit shady. Maybe just me :D

    • OMGgary

      It’s all share prices and new software and gadgets up front, but behind the scenes it’s probably just like..

      • Luka Mlinar

        IT Crowd FTW!!!

  • Blowntoaster

    it’s quite a dull day @ Android Authority…nothing much going on…
    it’s actually quite a dull day all across the tech-verse…no new products, reviews…etc. nada…

  • Dániel Vágner


  • Cao Meo

    Xiaomi is very interesting company and maybe Hugo can help it grow even bigger, but hopefully future Nexuses will not get worse w/o him.

  • slimdizzy

    Whats that line about your pen in company ink again? ;p

  • OMGgary

    Well, on a serious note, I will miss his presentation style at Google events. He has quite a good, no nonsense approach to such things.
    The way he announced the GPE Galaxy S4, at Google I/O last May, was almost like an antidote to the steaming pile of bovine excrement that Samsung themselves poured onto the stage of Radio City Music Hall two months earlier for the launch of the Touchwiz version.

  • Dawei Liu

    Wouldn’t he be called a traitor to the US ?

    • carlisimo

      He’s Brazilian though…