Facebook is getting a new employee. Ok, so that’s not exactly something to brag about, right? Well, what If the employee in question was Hugo Barra, the ex-Vice President of Android at Google and ex-Vice President of International at Xiaomi? Hugo Barra, whose previous positions included these two, will be joining Facebook after a 3 ½ year tenure at Xiaomi. Barra will join Facebook in order to head all of Facebook’s VR endeavors. These endeavors include the Oculus project as well.
Hugo Barra takes the position from his predecessor Brendan Iribe, CEO of Oculus. Iribe gave up his throne to work on a role leading Oculus’ PC-focused VR efforts.
Their worlds have met before
Hugo Barra and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg are closer than we thought. According to his announcement, Zuckerberg and Barra go way back to the time Barra was in charge of developing the Android operating system. They are both ardent believers that VR and AR are the next best thing since sliced bread. To that extent, Facebook would be spending almost $3 billion throughout the next 10 years to help spread the good news of VR to the masses.
Hugo Barra was also responsible for introducing the Mi VR headset by Xiaomi. He also praised Google’s Daydream VR platform stating that VR and AR both have limitless possibilities. According to him, we would see more efforts related to these technologies from 2017 onwards, hence the decision to join Facebook.
In his notes about his departure from Xiaomi, Barra also noted that he would be headed very close to his old place of habit, Silicon Valley and that he’s excited to take up the new role at Facebook. Indeed these are exciting times ahead for Facebook and for their efforts in VR and AR as well. As the saying goes “What a time to be alive”.