Xbox Exec Mike Ybarra leaves Microsoft after 19 years with Xbox and Windows divisions


UPDATE: We don’t know how we didn’t see this coming. Mike Ybbara, the former corporate vice president of Xbox Live, Xbox Game Pass and Mixer, has announced he’s joining Blizzard Entertainment as executive vice president and general manager.

“I’m very happy to announce I’m joining @Blizzard_Ent as Exec. Vice President and GM starting 11/4 (will be at #blizzcon!),” wrote Ybarra on Twitter. “We will work with all our energy to serve gamers with incredible content and experiences. I can’t wait to be part of this team. #lucky #humble #gamers #serve”

Ybarra publicly announced he was leaving Xbox earlier this month and the inner workings were probably set in stone long before this. He almost certainly didn’t anticipate the hellish furnace he’d be jumping into right now though, agreeing to join Blizzard long before the current controversy surround Blizzard’s stance on China.

He’s certainly got his work cut out then. Fresh starts to a new job don’t come much more terrifying than taking part in BlizzCon 2019 next week. To say Blizzard’s long-time fans are unhappy is quite the understatement; its live fan conference will undoubtedly be a heated event.

Original Story: 11-Oct-2019 – Xbox Exec Mike Ybarra leaves Microsoft after 19 years with Xbox and Windows divisions

It feels as if we’re in the midst of a period of serious upheaval in between console generations. Sony execs have been dropping like flies amid talks of major internal changes, and now longtime Xbox veteran Mike Ybarra has announced he’s leaving Microsoft after 19 years with the company.

“After 20 years at Microsoft, it’s time for my next adventure,” he said in a tweet today. “It’s been a great ride at Xbox and the future is bright. Thanks to everyone at TeamXbox, I’m incredibly proud of what we’ve accomplished and I wish you the best. More soon on what’s next for me (super excited)!

“Most importantly, I want to thank all of you fellow gamers, and our great fans, for all the support. Keep gaming and I hope to see you online soon!”

Ybarra joined Microsoft in 2000, prior to the launch of the original Xbox. Originally a systems engineer at Hewlett Packard, he helped conceive Xbox Live and Windows 7, eventually becoming corporate vice president of Xbox Live, Xbox Game Pass and Mixer.

Anybody want to take bets on how long it is until he pops up in the Google Stadia team? Seriously though, if executives are thinking of abandoning ship then between console generations is probably the time to do. Microsoft and Sony are both gearing up for another onslaught this next couple of years so execs are probably all in or nothing right now.

Ybarra will undoubtedly be a big miss for Microsoft. He’s pioneered some great stuff lately so we’re certainly intrigued to find out where he pops up next.