In a rather surprising move, Google’s Hugo Barra has reportedly tendered his resignation and is rumored to be heading for Chinese smartphone manufacturer Xiaomi. Barra is Google’s Vice President of Product Management for Android and his departure might send a few wrong signals regarding Android’s future.
Xiaomi is a company that is not well-known in other markets but has gained a substantial following in China and Taiwan, where their devices are said to be selling like hotcakes. The company, however, doesn’t only make smartphones but also tries to give added value on software that it builds on top of the Android system. Now the rumor is that Barra will be heading for this company for a yet unknown purpose or position.
Hugo Barra joined Google in 2008 after leaving speech and imaging technology firm Nuance. Starting as group project manager for mobile, Barra rose to director and then VP of Product Management, becoming one of the visible faces of Google’s Android team at events such as Google I/O. Barra’s latest stint was to unveil the new Nexus 7 last month.
Barra’s rumored resignation comes a few months after Andy Rubin, creator of Android and former Google VP of Mobile and Digital Content, shocked the industry by suddenly stepping down to focus on other things in Google. While this leaked information might raise some questions, not to mention a few eyebrows, about Android, not only is it too early to speculate on anything, but it is quite unlikely that such an event would drastically change the course of Android’s direction.