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Hugo Barra leaves Xiaomi for VP of Facebook’s VR

Former Google Exec, Hugo Barra, left the sprawling search giant for Chinese hardware manufacturer, Xiaomi. He’d become the public face for the phone company in the United States and China. He called his time in Beijing “the greatest and most challenging adventure of my life,” and said he feels he’s leaving Xiaomi in a “good place on its global expansion path.”

Hugo didn’t mention where he’d be heading to Xiaomi, until Wednesday. In a Facebook post from Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerburg, Hugo Barra is joining Facebook as VP of VR. This task includes their VR video efforts, social media efforts, and their Oculus business.

This position is an odd move for Hugo, who has become a public figure for his work on Android and primarily lead the push for smartphones. Zuckerberg assures Barro believes that VR and AR are the future of computing, a vision many have followed along with.

The announcement comes at an odd time for Facebook and Oculus. They’re involved in a lawsuit with game studio Bethesda over VR technology. There have also been top Oculus leaders who have been involved in public scandal and turmoil. Bringing Hugo to Facebook to lead their VR efforts will give them a leader who shaped smartphones, and will help shape how VR is adopted and developed.

Tell us in the comments below what you think about Hugo Barra joining Facebook to lead their VR efforts. Do you think he can influence Oculus/VR as much as he did with the mobile industry and smartphones?

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