User:Wintertanager/Hugo Barra

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Hugo Barra

Hugo Barra
Hugo Barra unveiling the Nexus 7.jpg
Hugo Barra
Born (1976-10-28) October 28, 1976 (age 38)
Belo Horizonte, Brazil
Alma mater Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Occupation Vice President of International, Xiaomi
Known for Vice President and product spokesperson, Google Android division

Hugo Barra (born October 28, 1976 in Belo Horizonte, Brazil)[1] is a Brazilian computer scientist, technology executive and entrepreneur. He is currently Vice President of International for Xiaomi,[2] based in Beijing, China. From 2008 to 2013 he served in a number of product management roles at Google in London and California, including Vice President and product spokesman of the Android division.[3]

Early life and career[edit]

Barra attended primary and secondary schools at local Colégio Pitágoras in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, and in 1995 enrolled at the Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais (UFMG), majoring in Electrical Engineering.[1] In 1996 Barra transferred to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge. While a student at MIT, Barra worked at the MIT Media Lab and MIT Artificial Intelligence Lab.[4] He also had internships at Netscape Communications, Walt Disney Imagineering, Merrill Lynch, and McKinsey & Company.[4]

Barra received Bachelor of Science degrees from MIT in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS) and in Management Science, as well as a minor in Economics.[5] He received a Masters in Engineering degree in EECS.[5] He was Senior Class President of the graduating class in 1999-2000 and student keynote speaker at MIT Commencement 2000.[6]

LOBBY7 and Nuance Communications[edit]

In 2000 Barra co-founded wireless software startup LOBBY7 with MIT classmates.[7] (The company’s name was inspired by the lobby of building 7, the main entrance to the Infinite Corridor at MIT). Funding was provided by Boston-based VCs Softbank[8] and Clarity Capital.

LOBBY7 provided mobile speech recognition software. The company was acquired by ScanSoft in 2003, which became Nuance Communications in 2005 via merger.[8] Barra held various positions at Nuance in Product Management, Product Marketing, and Business Development, launching a number of mobile speech recognition products.[8]


Barra joined Google in London in March 2008 as Group Product Manager for the Google Mobile team led by Google’s Vic Gundotra.[9] In 2010 Barra joined the Android team, working for Android founder Andy Rubin.[10]

From 2010 to 2013, Barra’s role expanded to include product spokesperson for the Android team, speaking at both press conferences and Google I/O, Google’s annual developer-focused conference. Barra’s product involvement included the entire Android ecosystem of software and hardware, including Honeycomb, Ice Cream Sandwich, Jelly Bean and Kit Kat operating system launches, the Nexus 4 and Nexus 5 smartphones, the Nexus 7[11] and Nexus 10 tablets,[12] and other related products such as Google Now[13], selected in 2013 as Popular Science’s Innovation of the Year[14], and Google Voice Search, Google’s speech recognition product comparable to Apple’s Siri.[13] He was promoted to Vice President in 2012.

Barra’s tenure was marked by significant growth in Android products: in August 2010 Google Android broke 200,000 device activations per day and continued to expand to 1.5 million device activations per day in July 2013, reaching one billion total devices activated in August 2013.[15]


In September 2013, Barra left Google for Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi, serving as Vice President of International.[16] The move was considered a ‘significant hire’ for Xiaomi, one of the fastest growing manufacturers in China, enhancing international legitimacy to the company by adding a key former Google Android executive to its senior management.[17]

In December 2013, Barra spoke at LeWeb tech conference in Paris, France about his impressions of the Chinese economy and the opportunity it represented for tech companies such as Xiaomi, citing China's 600 million internet users, high market caps of recent Chinese IPOs, the massive scale of the top Chinese apps' monthly active users, and the size of companies such as Alibaba's Taobao, a shopping site more than double the size of eBay and Amazon combined.[18] The talk was widely cited throughout the industry.[19]

In February 2014, Barra announced the launch of the new Redmi and Mi 3 smartphones in Singapore, the first time the company’s Android based MIUI firmware was officially released in English.[20] Global expansion outside of China into surrounding emerging markets is a key initiative for Xiaomi, given the company’s business model to release high performance smartphone products at an affordable consumer price, generating revenue not only from the hardware itself, but the software and Internet services provided to the consumer.[21] According to Xiaomi co-founder and president Bin Lin it is “entirely Barra’s job to figure out which region that we should enter next and how.”[22] Barra has stated intentions to expand next into Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, and India.[23]

In March 2014, Barra visited Foxconn, a Chinese manufacturing company with plants in Brazil and Mexico responsible for assembling products for various tech brands, indicating plans for Xiaomi to expand into Latin America.[24]

In May 2014, Barra announced the launch of the Mi Pad, a 7.9 inch tablet. “We spent four years working up to the point where we thought we had the right hardware design and software capability to build a world-class tablet,” Barra said. “We think we are there, finally.” Barra described the release as part of Xiaomi's overall strategy to expand both its product lineup and into new international markets including Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Singapore. Barra also indicated eventual plans to enter the U.S. market.[25]

Honors and awards[edit]

In 2011, Barra was ranked #23 in Wired Magazine’s Wired 100.[26] In 2013, Business Insider’s Silicon Valley 100 included Barra at #92.[27] Brazil’s Epoca Magazine ranked Barra among the most influential Brazilians in both 2011[28] and 2013.[29]


  1. ^ a b "The Brazilian who runs Android". Época. 
  2. ^ "Hugo Barra on what Xiaomi and Google could learn from each other". Stuff. 
  3. ^ "This Famous Google Exec Quit His Job To Work In China — And He's Been Totally Blown Away By What He Found". Business Insider. 
  4. ^ a b "Hugo Barra Crunchbase Profile". Crunchbase. 
  5. ^ a b "Hugo Barra Keynote Speaker Videos on Trend Hunter". 
  6. ^ "Students and speakers gear up for Commencement 2000". MIT News. 
  7. ^ Inc. "Hugo Barra". Businessweek. 
  8. ^ a b c "Hugo Barra". GMIC. 
  9. ^ "Hugo Barra". The Guardian. 
  10. ^ "Speaker Bios". Google. 
  11. ^ "Google Unveils a New, Nicer, Pricier Nexus 7 Tablet". Time. 
  12. ^ "Hugo Barra: where are the Android tablets of HTC One-like quality?". Android Authority. 
  13. ^ a b "Android Director: ‘We Have the Most Accurate, Conversational, Synthesized Voice in the World’". Wired. 
  14. ^ "Innovation Of The Year: Google Now". Popular Science. 
  15. ^
  16. ^ "Exclusive: Hugo Barra Talks About His Future at Xiaomi and Why He Really Left Google". All Things D. 
  17. ^ "Xiaomi confirms it has hired Google’s Hugo Barra, who will take up VP Global role from October". The Next Web. 
  18. ^ "Everything you need to know about Chinese tech in one 30-minute video". 
  19. ^ "This Famous Google Exec Quit His Job To Work In China — And He's Been Totally Blown Away By What He Found". Business Insider. 
  20. ^ "Can China’s coolest phone maker take Xiaomi-mania international? We ask VP Hugo Barra". The Next Web. 
  21. ^ "Here’s why you should care about rising Chinese smartphone firm Xiaomi". The Next Web. 
  22. ^ "Xiaomi co-founder on why ex-Google exec Barra and its own firmware are key to international success". The Next Web. 
  23. ^ "Xiaomi's Hugo Barra: True world phones in 2 years, Android all the way". CNET. 
  24. ^ "Hugo Barra visits Foxconn, teases Xiaomi launches across Latin America". 
  25. ^ "Ex-Google Whiz Barra’s Influence Showing at Xiaomi". 
  26. ^ "2nd annual Wired 100". 
  27. ^ "The 100 Biggest Stars In Silicon Valley". Business Insider. 
  28. ^ "Época Magazine: the 100 most influential Brazilians in 2011". Época Magazine. 
  29. ^ "Época Magazine: the 100 most influential Brazilians in 2013". Época Magazine. 

External links[edit]

Category:1976 births Category:Google employees Category:Massachusetts Institute of Technology alumni Category:Living people