Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg has managed to rope in ex-Xiaomi VP Hugo Barra to head the company's virtual reality division. The former Google employee who worked closely with its Android division was instrumental in Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi's rise.
Barra, the most prominent global executive at the Chinese firm had announced recently that he was returning to Silicon Valley as his stay in China took a toll on his personal life. He felt he was detached from his family and the life he built up in California when he was with Google.
"What I've realised is that the last few years of living in such a singular environment has taken a huge toll on my life and started affecting my health. My friends, what I consider to be my home, and my life are back in Silicon Valley, which is also much closer to my family. 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 while announcing his departure from Xiaomi.
Now, Barra is all set to lead the virtual reality business at Facebook that includes the Oculus unit. Zuckerberg made the announcement via a post on the social media network.
"I'm excited that Hugo Barra is joining Facebook to lead all of our virtual reality efforts, including our Oculus team. Hugo's in China right now, so here we are together in VR. It seems fitting," said Zuckerberg.
The Facebook founder has constantly stressed on virtual reality playing an important part in the company's future business, mainly because he wants technology to be less expensive.
Meanwhile, Barra's exit from Xiaomi comes at a time when the Chinese company is trying to restructure its strategy. The company pulled out of several overseas markets including Singapore and Brazil and did not proceed with it plans of entering markets such as Europe. The company is now increasing its offline retail presence and aims to move beyond hardware-related technology and tread into artificial intelligence and internet finance as growth areas.