Hugo Barra to Lead Virtual Reality Efforts at Facebook

Facebook has a new lead for all of its virtual reality efforts: vice president of virtual reality Hugo Barra.

Facebook has a new lead for all of its virtual reality efforts: vice president of virtual reality Hugo Barra.

Barra had been vp of international with Chinese electronics company Xiaomi since September 2013.

Prior to Xiaomi, he served as a product management director at Google, working mostly on its Android team.

He was a co-founder of mobile speech-recognition software company LOBBY7 in 2000. LOBBY7 was acquired by ScanSoft in 2003, and ScanSoft became Nuance Communications two years later, with Barra holding several product management, product marketing and business development positions with that company.

Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg welcomed Barra to the company in a Facebook post (embedded below):

I’m excited that Hugo Barra is joining Facebook to lead all of our virtual reality efforts, including our Oculus team. Hugo’s in China right now, so here we are together in VR. It seems fitting.

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.

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.

Barra added in his own Facebook post (embedded below):

I’m excited to share my next adventure as I return to Silicon Valley—in a couple of months, I’ll be joining Facebook as vp of virtual reality (VPVR!) and lead the Oculus team. Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun always says that the highest calling of an engineer is to make technology breakthroughs quickly and readily available to the widest possible spectrum of humanity. That will be my mission at Facebook, and I look forward to building the future of immersive technology with Mark Zuckerberg, (former Oculus VR CEO and leader of its PC VR group) Brendan Trexler Iribe, (Facebook chief technology officer) Mike Schroepfer and the visionaries in the Oculus team.

Readers: What are your thoughts on Barra joining Facebook?