Top Android Executive Suddenly Bolts from Google

Top Android Executive Suddenly Bolts from GoogleHugo Barra, Google’s Vice President of Android product management, is departing from the Internet search giant where he made a lasting impact on the world’s leading mobile operating system.

According to an announcement made Wednesday, Barra is leaving Google to join Xiaomi, a Chinese phone manufacturer.

“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,” Barra announced over Google+.

“In a few weeks,” he added, “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.”

While we can’t confirm that the move completely caught Google off-guard, All Things D confirms that a spokesperson for the company couldn’t speak to how Barra’s role will be filled or by whom.

“We wish Hugo Barra the best,” Google said in a statement issued to the press. “We’ll miss him at Google and we’re excited that he is staying within the Android ecosystem.”