Ex-Xiaomi exec Hugo Barra joins Facebook to lead virtual reality business

Xiaomi Vice President Hugo Barra speaks at the WSJD Live conference in Laguna Beach, California October 28, 2014. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

Facebook Inc has hired Hugo Barra, the most prominent global executive at Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi Inc, to lead its virtual reality business including the Oculus unit, Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg said.

The 32-year-old Facebook founder has spoken about virtual reality as an important part of the company’s future business, especially as the technology becomes less expensive and its uses clearer. Facebook acquired Oculus in 2014, believing it to be the next major computing platform.

Hugo shares my belief that virtual and augmented reality will be the next major computing platform. They’ll enable us to experience completely new things,” Zuckerberg said in a post on Facebook.

Earlier this week, Barra said he was stepping down as Xiaomi’s vice president after three-and-a-half-years, citing health concerns and a new job.

His exit comes at a time when Xiaomi is trying to adjust its strategy. The company pulled back from several overseas markets, including Singapore and Brazil, in 2016. It is increasing its offline retail presence and aims to develop artificial intelligence and internet finance as growth areas.

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Reuters

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Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.