Hugo Barra is leaving Google, will join Chinese handset maker Xiaomi [UPDATE]

Google's Vice President of Product Management Hugo Barra is leaving Google, and sources appeared claiming that he'll be taking up employment with Chinese phone maker Xiaomi. Shortly after the news surfaced, Google confirmed that the executive is parting ways and confirmation has appeared on Weibo about the job he has lined up.

According to an announcement made on Chinese website Weibo by Xiaomi co-founder Bin Lin, Barra will be joining Xiaomi as its Vice President taking on the company's international business development; Xiaomi's CEO Jun Lei said he'll be joining in early October. For its part, Google has made a statement wishing him well with his new endeavors and stating that it is "excited" he's staying in the Android ecosystem.

Barra joined Google back in 2008, having worked before that for the speech-centric company Nuance. His position within the Internet giant started out as a group project manager, and he later rose to become director and ultimately Vice President of Product Management. His last big event with the company was unveiling the latest Nexus 7 tablet earlier this summer.

This move, of course, follows closely after Andy Rubin's departure and as rumors swirl about personal matters taking place behind business walls, and the sudden announcement of Barra's resignation has left some wondering how Google plans to fill the latest hole. Though Google confirmed that he is leaving the company, no details have been provided thus far about who will be filling Barra's shoes.

Update: Mr. Barra has just made a statement on Google+, saying:

After nearly 5½ years at Google and almost 3 years as a member of the Android team — the most amazing group of people I've ever worked with in my life — I have decided to start a new career chapter.

In a few weeks, I'll be joining the Xiaomi team in China to help them expand their incredible product portfolio and business globally — as Vice President, Xiaomi Global. I'm really looking forward to this new challenge, and am particularly excited about the opportunity to continue to help drive the Android ecosystem.

SOURCE: AllThingsD