Facebook snaps up Hugo Barra to run its Oculus VR platform


Hugo Barra, who just two days ago announced he was leaving China-based smartphone market disruptor Xiaomi to return to the US and Silicon Valley has been revealed as Mark Zuckerberg’s latest Facebook recruit.

Barra, who is a former Google executive, is joining the social network as a vice president of virtual reality. Facebook is already the home of major VR platform Oculus, makers of the Oculus Rift headset and system.

To emphasise Barra’s new role, Zuckerberg posted a photo to his profile of the two as avatars from the Rift’s social platform, something the Facebook chief has said on numerous occasions he believes will become the next big social and computing platform in the years to come.

Barra comes to Facebook with an impressive CV too, having been in China since 2013 and significantly raising the profile of Xiaomi from a start-up to major player in the country’s smartphone market and disruptor globally too. Before that he worked on the development of the Android operating system at Google.

In response to Zuckerberg’s post, Barra said: “I can’t wait to get started in building that future and join the team in a couple of months. It’s been a dream of mine to work in virtual reality even back when AR/VR were just figments of science fiction; now we’re taking selfies in virtual worlds.

“I learned from Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun that there’s no greater calling in our industry than taking breakthrough tech and making it available to the greatest number of people. Really looking forward to doing just that at Facebook — taking VR mainstream — working with you, Brendan, Mike Schroepfer, and the Oculus team!”

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