Former Google Executive Takes Over Facebook’s Virtual Reality Department

Hugo Barra has officially taken the Vice President of Virtual Reality position, taking over for the former Oculus CEO, Brendan Iribe.

Hugo Barra, vice president of global operations at Xiaomi Corp., gestures while speaking during the launch of the company's Mi 5 smartphone in New Delhi, India, on Thursday, March 31, 2016. Foxconn Technology Group began assembling Xiaomi's first made-in-India smartphone from a new plant in the country's south last year, helping the Chinese company shorten delivery times and prop up margins. Photographer: Prashanth Vishwanathan/Bloomberg

In a Facebook post on his own page, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced on January 25th that Hugo Barra will be joining the Facebook team to “lead all of our virtual reality efforts, including our Oculus team.”

According to his post, Zuckerberg has been familiar with Barra’s work for a while and he is extremely qualified for the position. Zuckerberg wrote, “I’ve known Hugo for a long time, starting when he helped develop the Android operating system, to the last few years he’s worked at Xiaomi in Beijing bringing innovative devices to millions of people.”

Barra is currently finishing up his position as Vice President of Global at the Chinese mobile phone brand Xiamoi. After that, he will leave China to take over former Oculus CEO Brendan Iribe’s position at Facebook, where he will begin trying to increase sales of the Oculus Rift Virtual Reality headset. He will also possibly use his experience from his position as Vice President of Android Product Management at Google to expand Facebook’s mobile virtual reality capabilities.

Zuckerberg is hopeful about the future of virtual reality for Facebook, despite the fact that the Oculus had less sales than the virtual reality headsets made by Sony and HTC. He ended his Facebook post with the statement, “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.”

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