"I'm excited that Hugo Barra is joining Facebook to lead all of our virtual reality efforts, including our Oculus team," Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote on his home page today. "Hugo shares my belief that virtual and augmented reality will be the next major computing platform."
Barra, who moved to Beijing 3 1/2 years ago from Silicon Valley's Google, announced his departure from Xiaomi through Facebook three days ago. He wrote that Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun is "a mentor and a friend." But added "what I've realized is that the last few years of living in such a singular environment have taken a huge toll on my life and started affecting my health." Beijing is well known for its high levels of air pollution.
In reply to Zuckerberg's welcome message, Barra wrote: "I can't wait to get started in building that future and join the team in a couple of months. It's been a dream of mine to work in virtual reality even back when AR/VR were just figments in science fiction; now we're taking selfies in virtual worlds."