Android’s vice president of product management is leaving Google to work at Chinese phone maker Xiaomi.
Andrew Barra is a prominent figure for Android and up until this point has appeared at many Google events, such as its annual I/O developer conferences, and shown off new pieces of Android hardware.
But no longer: Barra is ditching Google and, according to tech blog AllThingsD, will pick up work at Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi.
Google grieved for the loss of the employee in a statement, but also joyfully acknowledged the Android affiliation of his new company: “We wish Hugo Barra the best. We’ll miss him at Google and we’re excited that he is staying within the Android ecosystem.”
The news is good for Xiaomi, a company that builds high-end, Android based phones, which ship with an additional layer of proprietary software.
While the company itself is already a promising, up-and-coming prospect, the addition of Barra to their team is certainly a great gain for the company, which may some day in the not-too-distant future rival its giant Asian competitors, such as Samsung.
For Google on the other hand, this is certainly stormy news. Following the recent departure of Andy Rubin, Android’s original creator, questions must be raised about the future management of Android, and how it will continue to fare in the smartphone market.