Facebook Hires Tech Veteran to Lead Virtual Reality

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Hugo Barra

Hugo Barra has served in executive roles at Google and Chinese electronic company Xiaomi.

Facebook has hired an technology industry veteran to run virtual reality, including its Oculus division. 

The social network has tapped Hugo Barra as vp virtual reality, CEO Mark Zuckerberg posted on Facebook Wednesday evening. 

Brazilian-born Barra worked at Google for a number of years, helping to build its Android operating system. He most recently served as global vp at Xiaomi, the Chinese electronics company that has made a global push with its streaming TV box and other products. 

"Hugo shares my belief that virtual reality and augmented reality will be the next major computing platform," Zuckerberg wrote in his Facebook post. "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." 

Facebook acquired Oculus in 2014 for $2 billion, making a bet on a new technology that at the time had yet to be made commercially available. I the ensuing years, Oculus has released its smart phone-enable VR device, the Gear VR, with Samsung and its high-end Oculus Rift headset. The company has also begun to produce content via its Oculus Story Studio, including Dear Angelica which it showed off at Sundance. 

In December, Facebook announced an Oculus restructuring that included CEO Brendan Iribe stepping down from his position to lead a newly created PC VR group. Head of software Jon Thomason was appointed to run a mobile VR group. 

Here is Zuckerberg's full post about Barra's hiring: