SOFTWARE DEVELOPER Google has lost a second Android executive within six months, as its VP of product management for Android Hugo Barra is leaving.
Barra announced his departure on Google+, writing, "After nearly [five and a half] years at Google and almost [three] years as a member of the Android team - the most amazing group of people I've ever worked with in my life - I have decided to start a new career chapter."
Barra confirmed that he will join the Chinese phone maker Xiaomi to "help them expand their incredible product portfolio and business globally". Xiaomi builds high-end Android phones for the Chinese market and apparently wants to expand. Barra's title at Xiaomi will be VP of Xiaomi Global, which does not suggest either a product development or marketing focus, so it might involve some elements of both roles.
He joined Google in 2008 from speech technology outfit Nuance and rose through the ranks. He has been a visible face of the Android mobile operating system at Google, often appearing at its press events and industry conferences including the Google I/O conference. He recently showed off the new Nexus 7 tablet at its launch in San Francisco.
Barra's departure comes less than six months after Andy Rubin, the creator of Android, stepped down to "start a new chapter at Google" in other areas. It remains to be seen who will pick up the reins at Google to drive further Android development. µ