Hugo Barra is joining Facebook as the new VP of virtual reality, leading up the Oculus team. Barra recently announced his resignation from Xiaomi and revealed his plans to move back stateside around Silicon Valley.
In his letter, Barra cited has major reason for leaving as the singular environment taking a toll on his health. His friends and home are in Silicon Valley, and that’s where he’s headed back to. “Seeing how much I’ve left behind these past few years, it is clear to me that the time has come to return,” he said in his letter.
He’ll be leaving Xiaomi after the Chinese New Year in February — a time for new beginnings, he says. And it really will be a new beginning as he takes the position of VP of virtual reality at Facebook. Virtual and augmented reality will be the next big computing platform — without a doubt — and Barra will be at Facebook to help foster that.
Here’s the full statement from Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg:
“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 in Beijing bringing innovative devices to millions of people.
Hugo shares my belief that virtual and augmented reality will be the next major computing platform. They’ll enable us to experience completely new things and be more creative than ever before. Hugo is going to help build that future, and I’m looking forward to having him on our team.“
Barra will do really well at Facebook as the VP of virtual reality. His expertise and experience are invaluable, and so far, he’s done a great job with fostering growth in technologies and startups. For instance, he played a huge part in Android’s success, and now, even Xiaomi’s.
According to Barra’s own letter, he’ll be taking some much-needed time off, so we don’t know exactly when he’ll start his work at Facebook, but it’ll be some time after February.
Some very good things are certainly ahead for Facebook’s virtual reality division.