Nearly 4 years after being poached from a essential publish at Google to affix Chinese language upstart Xiaomi, Hugo Barra on Monday introduced he’ll return to Silicon Valley in February.
Barra, who led the Xiaomi’s abroad enlargement as vp, worldwide, defined the transfer largely as a need to reconnect together with his household and restore a way of normalcy to his life.
Nevertheless, it additionally coincides with a widespread notion that Xiaomi’s worldwide development has run into a fantastic wall.
“The previous couple of years of dwelling in such a singular setting have taken an enormous toll on my life and began affecting my well being,” Barra wrote in a Fb publish. “My pals, what I contemplate to be my dwelling, and my life are again in Silicon Valley, which can also be a lot nearer to my household.”
Senior Vice President Xiang Wang reportedly will take over Barra’s publish at Xiaomi.
Barra thanked firm CEO Lei Jun, calling him a mentor and pal, and famous that the manager has requested him to remain on indefinitely as an advisor to the agency.
US Launch, Chinese language Market
Barra’s transfer comes simply weeks after the agency made its long-awaited debut at CES in Las Vegas, the place it launched Mi TV 4 and a white model of the Mi MIX smartphone for the Chinese language market, together with a spread of merchandise for the Mi Ecosystem.
His choice is definite to have far reaching implications for the corporate, which was thought-about one of many fastest-growing smartphone makers on this planet. Barra, who was vp of product administration at Google earlier than leaving in 2013, is extensively credited with serving to Xiaomi attain a worldwide valuation of US$45 billion, introducing its merchandise into key worldwide markets throughout Asia and Europe.
Nevertheless, Xiaomi lately has stumbled. The has misplaced market share to competing companies, together with Vivo and Oppo, in its core Chinese language market. Oppo grew to become the main smartphone maker in China, rising primarily attributable to elevated offline gross sales that had been much less depending on operator subsidies, based on an IDC report launched final fall.
Throughout his tenure, India grew to become Xiaomi’s largest worldwide market, with $1 billion in annual income, sooner than any firm within the nation’s historical past, Barra famous. The corporate additionally expanded into Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia on his watch, and lately added 20 different new markets together with Russia, Poland and Mexico.
Xiaomi additionally labored with Google to launch its first-ever official product within the U.S. at CES 2017.
“It is an attention-grabbing transfer, particularly as he was the lead spokesman for Xiaomi internationally,” stated Ryan Reith, program vp for worldwide cellular machine trackers at IDC.
Barra has been a key determine within the firm’s patent acquisition technique and was the purpose particular person within the firm’s relationships with overseas telco companies, Reith informed the E-Commerce Occasions.
Regardless of these successes, Xiaomi’s choice to rent Barra was problematic, based on Rob Enderle, principal analyst on the Enderle Group, who described it as a “unhealthy ability match.”
Xiaomi stumbled in a few key areas throughout Barra’s tenure there, and it’s nonetheless feeling the ramifications of these errors, Enderle informed the E-Commerce Occasions.
“It’s a far totally different factor to persuade OEMs to make use of [Android], a free OS that was modeled after one they could not license, iOS,” than it’s to promote telephones to finish customers, Enderle stated, referring to Barra’s prior tenure as a part of Google’s Android enlargement group.
“On the one hand, you’re giving individuals one thing they need free of charge, and alternatively you’re competing with a bunch of parents for a restricted set of far much less subtle patrons,” Enderle noticed.
Xiaomi wasted sources on the worldwide enlargement, he maintained, whereas failing to pay sufficient consideration to home gross sales and product growth in its own residence market, which brought on the corporate to bleed market share.