Big Blow For Xiaomi As Their Global VP Hugo Barra Announces His Exit; Slowdown Is Responsible For This Drastic Move?
Hugo Barra, the Brazilian computer scientist who had become the face of Xiaomi as the Global Vice President, has suddenly announced his exit from the company. He announced this news via an emotional Facebook post.
He had left Google in 2013 to join Xiaomi and soon transformed the startup into a global behemoth with a presence in 20 countries, including India. He made the presence of Xiaomi felt in Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Russia, Mexico, and Poland and made India as their largest market outside China with annual revenues of $1 billion. Last November, we reported that Xiaomi has sold 20 lakh units in Q3 of 2016, representing 150% year on year growth; and Hugo had the major role in this transition.
Under this leadership, charisma and aggressive expansion mode, he increased the valuation of Xiaomi to $46 billion in December 2014, making it as the most valued tech startup at one point of time.
In his Facebook post, he has attributed deteriorating health conditions as a major reason for leaving China. Besides, as per Hugo, his friends and families remain in Silicon Valley, which is his actual home.
He said, “But 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..”
Describing his journey at Xiaomi and China, he said, “I embarked on what has been the greatest and most challenging adventure of my life..”
Slowdown In Sales A Reason For Leaving Xiaomi?
It can be pure speculation, but a massive slowdown in sales of Xiaomi’s smartphones in their major market, including China, can be one of the reasons why Hugo decided to move on, or maybe forced to move on.
For instance, in March last year, a report by Time Magazine pointed out the fact that Xiaomi’s smartphones sale in China has fallen from 227% in 2014 to mere 17% in 2015. Now, the overall slowdown in China’s smartphone market can be one of the reasons for the slowdown of Xiaomi’s growth, but someone has to be answerable, and the VC funded Unicorns are not exempted from that; especially when share prices of their competitors like Huawei increased by 14% right when Xiaomi is experiencing slowdown in sales.
And, in Q2 of 2016, Fortune magazine reported a sharp decline in Xiaomi’s domestic market sales in China, they sold 38% lesser units, compared to last year.
Internationally, Xiaomi tried hard to duplicate its success story, but besides India, their efforts didn’t bring in much success.
On the news of Hugo’s exit, Xiaomi co-founder and president Bin Lin said, “As much as we would love to have Hugo stay with us in Beijing for a much longer time, we understand his personal challenges and wish him all the best in his future endeavors. I’m also looking forward to working closely with him in his new role as advisor to Xiaomi.”
Senior Vice President Xiang Wang will now lead Global Operations of Xiaomi, while Hugo will remain as an Advisor to the company.
Why do you think Hugo left Xiaomi? Is he going to launch a new startup? Or there were differences arose between Xiaomi’s management and his style of operations? Do let us know by commenting right here!