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Thursday, August 29, 2013, 06:54 am PT (09:54 am ET)

6 months after Andy Rubin's exit, another top executive leaves Google's Android team

One of the most high-profile members of Google's Android team has left the company for a handset maker in China, just over six months after Andy Rubin, former head of Android development, took on a new position.

Barra


Google confirmed this week that Hugo Barra, former vice president of product management for Android, has left the company. Barra has served as a very public face for Android, leading many of Google's product unveilings and demonstrations.

Barra has left Google to become a vice president at at Xiaomi, a Chinese smartphone maker that builds handsets that use the Android mobile operating system. Google said in a statement that the company is "excited" the former executive is "staying within the Android ecosystem."

The departure comes as Barra allegedly ended a "thorny" relationship with a co-worker at Google, according to sources who spoke with AllThingsD. Though Barra reportedly tendered his resignation before the split, that Google employee is now said to be dating Google co-founder Sergey Brin, who recently split with his own wife.

Barra's exit is the second major change to the Android team in just six months. In March, Google announced that Andy Rubin, who served as head of Android since the platform was acquired in 2005, was moving on to a "new chapter" at the company.

The major shakeup at Google has occurred as Android has established itself as the market share leader in smartphones, but also as the search company struggles to monetize the platform and end fragmentation among different hardware vendors.

Apple saw its own mobile division see major changes late last year with the departure of iOS chief Scott Forstall. That led to head designer Jony Ive taking control of Apple's iPhone and iPad operating system, leading to a major overhaul in the design of iOS 7.