Hugo Barra (pictured), who this week resigned from the role of global VP at Chinese smartphone vendor Xiaomi, is joining Facebook to head up the company’s virtual reality (VR) development and its Oculus division.

Mark Zuckerberg, the social network’s founder, announced Barra is joining the company in a post on his Facebook profile. Zuckerberg said he and Barra have known each other since the latter began developing the Android smartphone operating system, and explained Barra is a keen VR advocate.

“Hugo shares my belief that virtual and augmented reality will be the next major computing platform,” Zuckerberg wrote, adding: “They’ll enable us to experience completely new things and be more creative than ever before.”

Barra announced he was standing down from Xiaomi in a Facebook post on 23 January. He expressed satisfaction at playing a role in expanding the device vendor’s reach into markets including Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Russia, Mexico and Poland, and in building the company’s presence in India into a market “with $1 billion in annual revenues.”

It is unclear when Barra will begin his new role at Facebook. Zuckerberg noted Barra was still in China in his post, and Barra originally stated he would take time off before beginning a new job in Silicon Valley.