Android VP Hugo Barra leaves Google, joins Chinese phone maker Xiaomi (updated)

Barely a month after he was showing off Google's new Nexus 7 tablet Hugo Barra is departing to join Xiaomi, according to AllThingsD. Part of Google since March 2008, as the Vice President of product management for Android he's been a regular face to anyone that's watched Google I/O events and Nexus product launches over the past few years. With his exit Barra follows Android creator Andy Rubin, who stepped away from the Android team three months earlier. It's a huge score for Xiaomi, a company that goes from strength to strength in China, with smartphones that run on a heavily customized (and customizable) Android ROM. The company's also dabbled in smart TV boxes, which could make for a very familiar role for a former Googler. According to Xiaomi, he will be in charge of steering the company's global expansion starting in October.

Update: We have received a statement from Google that confirms Hugo Barra's departure:

"We wish Hugo Barra the best. We'll miss him at Google and we're excited that he is staying within the Android ecosystem."

Update 2: Barra's taken to Google+ to announce that he will indeed be joining Xiaomi as VP Global in a few weeks. We've added his blog post after the break and have updated the post to reflect the confirmation. Xiaomi has also confirmed the appointment.

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!