Top Android executive Hugo Barra has confirmed that he has left Google to work at Xiaomi, an emerging Chinese Android smartphone vendor. The news was first reported by AllThingsD and later confirmed by both Google and Barra himself. “We wish Hugo Barra the best,” Google said in a statement. “We’ll miss him at Google and we’re excited that he is staying within the Android ecosystem.” Barra had been with Google for more than five years and had worked on the Android team for about three as vice president of Android product management. He joins Xiaomi as Vice President and says he will “help them expand their incredible product portfolio and business globally.” But the plot thickens.
According to AllThingsD’s sources, Barra was romantically involved with a coworker at Google and his relationship recently came to a “thorny” end. That Googler, the report claims, is now romantically involved with Google co-founder Sergey Brin, who recently separately from his wife Anne Wojcicki. While the timing of these events speaks volumes, AllThingsD notes that Barra tendered his resignation from Google before splitting with the unnamed coworker in question.
“It has been an amazing ride and true honor to be part of the Android team at Google, and I especially want to thank Andy Rubin, Hiroshi Lockheimer, Sundar Pichai and Vic Gundotra for their phenomenal support and mentorship over the years,” Barra wrote on his Google+ page. “Android team, I will truly miss you all!”