Mike Ybarra is leaving Microsoft

Xbox corporate VP Mike Ybarra has confirmed he’s leaving Microsoft after 20 years with the tech firm.

First joining the company in 2000 as a systems engineer, Ybarra steadily moved up the ranks and joined Xbox in 2009 as general manager of Xbox Live. He’s served in his most recent role since 2017, where he manages key aspects of Xbox’s brand, including Xbox Live, Xbox Game Pass, and Microsoft’s streaming platform, Mixer.

“After 20 years at Microsoft, it’s time for my next adventure,” Ybarra said. “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,” he added. “Keep gaming and I hope to see you online soon!”

“Mike, it’s been great to be able to work with you. I know everyone at Xbox wishes you well. Thanks for everything. Good luck and we will see you online!” tweeted Larry “Major Nelson” Hryd. “Best of luck dude!” added Cliff Bleszinski.

Head of Xbox Phil Spencer said: “Thank you for your many contributions to Microsoft and Xbox. You’ve been a strong advocate for our fans from day one, and have consistently driven to keep gamers at the center of everything we do. All of us at TeamXbox wish you the best.”

“In Mike Ybarra’s 20 years at Microsoft he has had an incredible impact, from shipping multiple editions of Windows to creating AAA games to driving our gaming platform and services. We thank him for his contributions and wish him the best,” Microsoft told GI.biz.

Though Ybarra did not expand further on why he was leaving or what his next steps are, he did reply to a fan by saying: “I’m not done giving every ounce of energy I have to try and make gaming better for everyone. Soon…!” and confirmed he was “not headed” to Google to join the Stadia team.

About Vikki Blake

It took 15 years of civil service monotony for Vikki to crack and switch to writing about games. She has since become an experienced reporter and critic working with a number of specialist and mainstream outlets in both the UK and beyond, including Eurogamer, GamesRadar+, IGN, MTV, and Variety.

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