Xbox's Mike Ybarra leaves Microsoft after 20 years, joins Blizzard Entertainment (update)

What you need to know

  • Mike Ybarra has been with Microsoft for 20 years.
  • He was the Corporate Vice President of Gaming and worked closely with the Xbox Insider Program.
  • Today, Ybarra announced he was leaving the company for a new adventure.
  • It's unclear what Ybarra plans to do in the future at this time.

Updated August 3, 2021 Following the departure of Blizzard president J. Allen Brack, Mike Ybarra is now co-leading Blizzard Entertainment.

Updated October 23, 2019: Ybarra is joining Blizzard Entertainment as Executive Vice President and General Manager.

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Mike Ybarra has been with Microsoft for the past 20 years, working on the Xbox, Xbox 360, and Xbox One software experience. He became the Corporate Vice President of Gaming not too long ago, and has been deeply involved with the Xbox Insider Program.

Today, Ybarra announced on Twitter that he was leaving Microsoft for a new adventure. It's unclear what this is, but we'll keep you posted as soon as we find out.

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As soon as news broke, Phil Spencer, the Executive Vice President of Gaming, thanked Ybarra for this contribution towards the Xbox brand. Other Microsoft employees like Larry Hryb, the Xbox Live Director of Programming, also thanked Ybarra.

Ybarra streamed a lot on Mixer, and hopefully, he'll keep it up. We'll definitely miss him talking about Xbox and other games. We can't wait to know what he plans on doing next.

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Asher Madan

Asher Madan handles gaming news for Windows Central. Before joining Windows Central in 2017, Asher worked for a number of different gaming outlets. He has a background in medical science and is passionate about all forms of entertainment, cooking, and antiquing.

  • Good riddance. I always found him to be condescending and arrogant. Regardless, after 20 years, it'll be better for him and Xbox to move on and get a fresh start.
  • Wow, you sound just like how you describe him. He's actually a really great guy that cares a lot about gaming.
  • Obviously you've never taken a few minutes to watch and listen to his stream on Mixer. If you had, you'd realize how very wrong you are.
  • Taking bets that he is on his way to Senior VP at Facebook's top-secret "gaming hub" development group.
  • Always seemed a decent bloke to me. Seen a lot of changes in 20 yes and maybe just needs a change. Xbox and MS will evolve over the next 5 years or so as the industry we know changes more.and more.
  • Good luck to him. Seemed like a good guy, would often interact on youtube fan sites and didn't take himself too seriously.
  • Mike was always happy to interact with the community, like many senior figures in the Xbox team. Wish him well. My money's on a position at Google. Everyone goes to Google eventually ;-)
  • Unfortunately given the way things are going that maybe an inevitable outcome as far toooooo many websites are reliant on google services; therefore if you block of them with something like noscript - they completely break in functionality. However, there will be a push back at one point and it will be sooner than later.
  • All the best to Mike! Hopefully, we will see Blizzard be more gamer focused *cough*cough* instead of focusing on trying to use their presence to shut down certain erm... opinions 😅.
  • its funny because china
  • Maybe Microsoft can purchase Blizzard now with Mike Ybarra as Co-Lead!