Xbox’s Mike Ybarra and Kareem Choudhry promoted to CVP

Xbox’s Mike Ybarra and Kareem Choudhry have been promoted, a Microsoft spokesperson has confirmed to MCV.

News of their promotions first surfaced yesterday after Windows Centralwrote a post based on information from "sources familiar with Microsoft’s plans" but MCV can now confirm this is indeed the case.

Ybarra will now take on the role corporate vice president of Xbox Program Management, and will be responsible for the team behind Xbox One’s backward compatibility feature, Xbox functionality on Windows 10 and the Xbox One dashboard redesign.

Previously, Ybarra was in charge of managing partnerships at Microsoft Studios and oversaw publishing deals for titles such as Gears of War, Ryse Son of Rome and Sunset Overdrive.

Meanwhile, Choudhry takes on the role of corporate vice president of Xbox Software Engineering. He was previously in charge of Kinect development, but now that Microsoft’s focus has shifted away from its motion and depth-sensing peripheral, Choudhry will now manage all Xbox development.

Both Ybarra and Choudhry will report to Xbox boss Phil Spencer.

Microsoft has a busy year ahead of it with its upcoming Project Scorpio launch this holiday, and Ybarra and Choudhry will no doubt be playing key roles in getting the machine out the door. Unlike Sony’s PlayStation 4 Pro, Project Scorpio will be able to run native 4K graphics and will also be compatible with virtual reality headsets.

Microsoft has yet to announce which headsets will be supported by Scorpio, but given its current partnership with Oculus, where all headsets are bundled with an Xbox One controller, we wouldn’t be surprised if Oculus was one of the first head-mounted displays to announce its support for Scorpio.

The last few years have been difficult for Microsoft, but in a recent interview with Xbox UK marketing chief Harvey Eagle, MCV learned that 2016 was a "tipping point" for Xbox and that the brand’s "got its mojo back." Click here to read the full interview.

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