Xbox's Mike Ybarra and Kareem Choudhry have been promoted to VPs at Microsoft

Sources familiar with Microsoft's plans have told us that Mike Ybarra and Kareem Choudhry are both set to become Corporate Vice Presidents at Microsoft, formalizing their roles as permanent fixtures for Xbox. Mike Ybarra is the Head of Program Management for Xbox's core, with Kareem Choudhry heading up development at Xbox software engineering, reporting to Xbox head Phil Spencer.

You might recognize Kareem Choudhry from the end of the Project Scorpio trailer, where he delivers the famous strapline "It's a monster." Choudhry was formerly head of Kinect development until the peripheral became unbundled with the console, at which point he moved to oversee all Xbox development.

Mike Ybarra also needs little introduction, as the face of the Xbox operating system. Mike Ybarra is active both on Twitter and on Beam, and has spoken to us in the past about the Xbox's various features. Ybarra formerly worked at Microsoft Studios as a partner manager, signing deals to publish games such as Gears of War, RYSE, and Sunset Overdrive. Ybarra now oversees the team that delivers us features such as Xbox One's backward compatibility, the Xbox functionality in Windows 10, and the upcoming redesign of the Xbox dashboard.

Given their contributions to what makes Xbox great today both for developers and customers, I'd personally say both promotions are more than well deserved.

Mike Ybarra, Kareem Choudhry, and the rest of the Xbox team are hard at work putting together the pieces that make up Project Scorpio — which will launch as the most powerful console ever built. Powering true, native 4K gaming experiences, Project Scorpio will also bring forward your entire Xbox One library, including any Xbox 360 games that are backward compatible. Project Scorpio will hopefully also lead to a wider adoption of the Universal Windows Platform for game creation, bringing more titles to the Windows 10 Store as part of the Xbox Play Anywhere program.

It cannot be understated how much effort has been poured into turning Xbox around since the Xbox One's clunky launch back in 2013, and both Choudhry and Ybarra have been instrumental in spearheading that return to form. I'd say we have a lot to look forward to as Xbox customers moving forward.

Jez Corden
Co-Managing Editor

Jez Corden a Managing Editor at Windows Central, focusing primarily on all things Xbox and gaming. Jez is known for breaking exclusive news and analysis as relates to the Microsoft ecosystem while being powered by caffeine. Follow on Twitter @JezCorden and listen to his Xbox Two podcast, all about, you guessed it, Xbox!

  • The key take away for me here is that both Mike and Karreem will have greater authority in shaping Xbox's direction. Mike inherited the dashboard from the previous team, and has focused on improving its speed and usability above all else. Think most will agree the dashboard is in a better shape than it was at launch, even if some features have been shifted around.
  • They deserve it no doubt. Mike has been working soo hard on our feedback programs and getting the UI better and better for us all to enjoy, love his interactions with the Xbox community on twitter and his random giveaways. Can't say much for Kareem but "The Monster" line he said at the end of scorpio video made me aware he was deeply involved and knew what he was talking about. These guys make most guys like me happy by making my favorite hobby more addictive and fun. I'm never lonely and with that I wish them the BEST of LUCK in all their endeavors...we bleed GREEN!
  • Congratulations 🎉
  • These are great people. It's awesome to see the Xbox team senior management behing stacked with the dedicated team who have helped take the Xbox One from a "meh" console to a reasonable contender. 
  • Indeed both well deserve the promotion. But really is it just a "name change" as they are both so heavily involved in the XBox ecosystem. If they get a payrise however well good on them.
  • Congrats to them
  • Good decision Xbox would be worse off without there input,bring on the future.