Former Google Executive Hugo Barra Joins Facebook as VP of VR


Hugo Barra, the former Google executive who left Xiaomi Corp. this week, has signed on at Facebook to lead all of the giant social network’s virtual reality efforts including Oculus.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg made the surprise announcement in a Facebook post Wednesday night.

“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 and be more creative than ever before. Hugo is going to help build that future, and I’m looking forward to having him on our team,” Zuckerberg wrote.

The Facebook post was accompanied by a digitized image of the two executives in Facebook’s Menlo Park, Calif., headquarters. “Hugo’s in China right now,” Zuckerberg wrote. “So here we are together in VR. It seems fitting.”

In a Twitter post, Barra, who this week left Xiaomi where he ran the Chinese phone maker’s global division, said he was signing on as Facebook’s vice president of virtual reality.

In a comment on Zuckerberg’s Facebook post, he wrote: “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.”

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SOURCE: USA Today, Jessica Guynn