Xiomi global VP Hugo Barra to leave in February

Hugo Barra, Xiaomi's global VP, today announced that he was leaving the company, after three and a half years.

Barra earlier worked at Google as the vice president of product management for Android, and had joined Xiaomi, in August 2013. In addition to his role in running Xiaomi, Barra had also come to be very closely identified with the company globally, and his moving on would certainly be seen as a bad sign by many.

According to commentators, though the company had been able to hit major milestones, it faced increased competition, and growing global challenges. They say it would be interesting to see how it moved forward without Barra, who will leave the company in February.

Announcing his decision in his Facebook post, Barra described Xiaomi as the greatest and most challenging adventure of his life, which involved moving to Beijing and building Xiaomi's global expansion as a startup team within a bigger startup.

However, he says, "the last few years of living in such a singular environment have taken a huge toll on my life and started affecting my health."

He therefore planned to return to Silicon Valley, which was also closer to his family in Brazil.

Meanwhile, commentators, pointed out that for all its success, Xiaomi had not really been able to make a mark in any other international market as it still struggled to meet demand for its smartphones in China and India.

Its growth in China had slowed down with rivals like Huawei, OPPO and Vivo leaving it behind.

Xiomi was also not been able to launch its smartphones in western Europe or North America.

Xiaomi had also failed to achieve its smartphone sales targets two years in a row and had not publicly announced any sales targets for 2017.