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Hugo Barra says bye to Xiaomi, hello again to Silicon Valley

The ex-Google exec and celebrated showman is headed back to Silicon Valley for personal reasons after more than three years in China.

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Hugo Barra, Xiaomi's international vice president, will leave his position with the Chinese smartphone maker next month, he said Sunday on Facebook

After serving as the public face and leader of global operations for Xiaomi for three and a half years, Barra said he will leave Beijing and return to Silicon Valley.

Prior to his joining Xiaomi in the summer of 2103, Barra worked as vice president of product management for Google Android and served as the division's product spokesman. He joined the then-fledgling Chinese company "with the opportunity to help turn a young rockstar startup into a global player."

His statement Sunday shed some light on his departure, citing personal reasons:

"What I've realized is that the last few years of living in such a singular environment have 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."

Bin Lin, co-founder and president of Xiaomi, replied to the Facebook post, thanking Barra for his service and announcing that his role would be filled by Xiang Wang, Xiaomi's current senior vice president.

He said that Barra and Xiaomi aren't parting ways entirely. Barra will still be "working closely with [Lin] in his new role as advisor to Xiaomi."

Xiaomi pointed to Lin's statement when asked for comment.

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