Facebook has poached Xiaomi’s global vice president Hugo Barra to head up its virtual reality division, just three days after Barra revealed he was stepping down from his post.
Facebook Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg on Thursday announced that his company had hired Barra to head its virtual reality business, which included the team developing the Oculus Rift headset. In a post on his Facebook page, Zuckerberg said Barra shared his belief that “virtual and augmented reality will be the next major computing platform”.
“I’ve known Hugo for a long time, starting when he helped develop the Android operating system, to the last few years he’s worked at Xiaomi,” Zuckerberg said. Virtual reality will allow people to “experience completely new things and be more creative than ever before”, he said, adding that Barra was going to “help build that future.”
“It’s been a dream of mine to work in virtual reality even back when AR/VR were just figments of science fiction,” said Barra “I learned from Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun that there’s no greater calling in our industry than taking breakthrough tech and making it available to the greatest number of people. Really looking forward to taking VR mainstream at Facebook.”
On Monday, Barra had announced that he is stepping down as the global vice president of Xiaomi after a 3.5 years stint. He was one of Xiaomi’s most-prized hires and was responsible for building & leading the company’s global operations.
Under his leadership, Xiaomi expanded to India, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, and more recently to 20 other markets including Russia, Mexico, and Poland.