A mysterious woman, referred to only as a “Googler” by AllThingsD, may have been the impetus for Hugo Barra’s decision to leave Google for Chinese company Xiaomi. Looks like HTC’s Cher Wang will be getting some company.
Barra rose quickly through the ranks at Google after joining the company in 2008 and most recently served as vice president of Android, product manager. This evening, attention has been drawn to the fact that his departure from Google coincides with a co-worker’s departure from him. Barra had been romantically involved with an unnamed fellow Googler (we’re calling her Helen), who has apparently spurned Barra for Sergey Brin, the company’s co-founder. Brin has been married to Anne Wojcicki for six years; their publicist confirmed this morning that the couple has been living apart for months.
What would, ordinarily, be juvenile tabloid news is heightened by the timing of it all. In the wake of Andy Rubin’s absence from the Android team, the loss of another executive could send ripples through the division.
Well, we hope she was worth it, Sergey!
Google has also confirmed Barra’s resignation, and Xiaomi has confirmed his appointment. Barra posted the following to Google+:
A new Android chapter
After nearly 5½ years at Google and almost 3 years as a member of the Android team – the most amazing group of people I’ve ever worked with in my life – I have decided to start a new career chapter.
In a few weeks, I’ll be joining the Xiaomi team in China to help them expand their incredible product portfolio and business globally – as Vice President, Xiaomi Global. I’m really looking forward to this new challenge, and am particularly excited about the opportunity to continue to help drive the Android ecosystem.
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.
+Android team, I will truly miss you all!