Hugo Barra

Update: Barra took to his Google+ page this evening to confirm that he is indeed leaving Google to take on a new role as VP of Xiaomi Global. He indicates that he will be helping the company expand its phones beyond China to the rest of the world, and is excited to continue working with Android.

Original Story: Shortly after he appeared in front of press to unveil the latest Nexus 7 tablet for Google, Android VP of Product Hugo Barra has reportedly resigned from his position at the company. AllThingsD reports that Barra, who had been an increasingly familiar face around Google events, is planning a move over to prominent Chinese smart phone maker Xiaomi in an interesting change of direction.

Up-and-coming Xiaomi currently builds phones that run Android with heavy modification as a holistic approach of hardware and software, and has been making waves in the Chinese phone market in the past couple of years. Barra's departure itself seems very sudden and surprising, but the reported move to Xiaomi catches us even more off guard.

Barra is truly one of the biggest influencers in Android today, and his move to a third-party Android manufacturer could change the mobile market notably.

Source: AllThingsD; +Hugo Barra (Google+)