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Facebook has hired former Xiaomi and Google exec Hugo Barra as its new virtual reality chief

Barra left Xiaomi on Monday. Now he’s joining Facebook.

Google's Android And Chrome Chief Sundar Pichai Holds News Event Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

On Sunday, Hugo Barra announced he was leaving Chinese phone maker Xiaomi and planned to return to the U.S.

Now we know why.

Barra is joining Facebook to run all of the company’s virtual reality efforts, including Oculus, according to a post by CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

That means Barra will effectively take over as Oculus CEO, though his title will be Vice President of VR, according to a Facebook spokesperson.

Former Oculus CEO Brendan Iribe said in December that he was stepping down to lead the company’s PC division.

Barra’s appointment is a high-profile hire for Facebook. The executive is well known in the tech community; he was a top Android exec at Google before he joined Xiaomi in 2013, where he was most recently in charge of leading the company’s efforts to expand outside of China. (That wasn’t easy.)

Earlier this week, Barra said he wasn’t leaving Xiaomi until February and would “take some much-needed time off before embarking on a new adventure back in Silicon Valley.”

Here’s the full post from Zuckerberg.

I'm excited that Hugo Barra is joining Facebook to lead all of our virtual reality efforts, including our Oculus team....

Posted by Mark Zuckerberg on Wednesday, January 25, 2017

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