Android VP Hugo Barra said on Wednesday that he is leaving Google to serve as Vice President at Chinese Android phone maker Xiaomi, aka the "Apple of China". The confirmation of his departure coincides with reports that Google co-founder Sergey Brin is splitting up with wife and 23andMe co-founder Anne Wojcicki. The connection here is that Barra's previous girlfriend is now dating Brin.
A spokesperson for the former married couple told AllThingsD that Brin and Wojcicki have been living apart for several months. Both 40 years old, the two have been married for six years and produced two children. Currently they're not legally separated, and will supposedly "remain good friends and partners" if they legally part ways. Good luck with that.
For now, reconciliation remains unclear, as Brin has become romantically involved with a Google employee, AKA Hugo Barra's former girlfriend. The situation is likely uncomfortable and weird at best, but there's no indication that the relationship(s) will have an impact on Google as a company. Sources claim that Brin and Wojcicki actually have a perpetual agreement stating that Google will not be financially affected if the two agree to divorce.
According to Forbes, Brin is worth $22.8 billion USD. He holds nearly $21 billion in Google shares, the majority of which are Class B stock and thus grants him more voting power. Brin and Wojcicki have many other well-known joint business efforts, meaning she's worth some money as well. Their joint efforts include personal-genomics startup 23andMe, the Brin Wojcicki Foundation, and the Breakthrough Prize Foundation.
AllThingsD also reports that Wojcicki’s sister, Susan, continues to be one of the top executives at Google. She is SVP of advertising and commerce, and actually provided her garage as Google's first headquarters in the key formative days. She was also one of the first hires by Brin and co-founder and CEO Larry Page.
Naturally the romantic Googler that currently connects Brin and Barra has not been identified, but the person reportedly resides on the Google Glass marketing team. Brin insists that his departure is unrelated to the "quadrangle love" reports, and is seemingly backed by former Googler and current Xiaomi co-founder/president Lin Bin who announced that Barra assumes his VP role this October.
Barra's most recent public appearance was during the second-generation Nexus 7 reveal in San Francisco. Barra originally joined Google in 2008. "We wish Hugo Barra the best," Google told the LA Times in an emailed statement. "We'll miss him at Google and we're excited that he is staying within the Android ecosystem."
"In a few weeks, 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," Barra announced on Google Plus. "I'm really looking forward to this new challenge, and am particularly excited about the opportunity to continue to help drive the Android ecosystem."
Is Barra ditching Google to leave a broken heart behind, or seizing an incredible opportunity offered by China's top smartphone maker?