Mike Ybarra Joining Blizzard Entertainment As Exec VP/GM

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Former Xbox Corporate Vice President Mike Ybarra has announced that he is joining Blizzard Entertainment as Executive Vice President and General Manager.

“I’m very happy to announce I’m joining [Blizzard Entertainment] as Exec. Vice President and GM starting 11/4 (will be at [Blizzcon 2019!]).” Mr. Ybarra said in a tweet on his personal account. “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.”

Mike Ybarra spent a solid decade working with the Xbox team prior to leaving the company earlier in October 2019.

Mike Ybarra Leaves Xbox After Nearly Two Decades

Just a few days ago, Mr. Ybarra announced that he was leaving Microsoft after nearly two decades at the company. His first few years in the tech industry was as a software development engineer for Hewlett-Packard, but he soon transitioned to working at Microsoft in June of 2000. He worked on various aspects of the Windows operating system, eventually becoming the General Manager of Windows 7 in June 2006.

It was the end of the aughts when Mike Ybarra moved from the tech world into the gaming world — he took up the role of General Manager of Xbox Live in 2009. He remained in the Xbox Team for more than ten years. Among his many accomplishments is being one of the people who have helped create Xbox Game Pass and Mixer, two ventures from Microsoft that are proving pretty successful in a competitive industry.

While Mike Ybarra certainly has the chops to work in both tech and gaming, he’s joining Blizzard Entertainment at its most troubled time in recent memory. The company’s banning of Hong Kong-based Hearthstone player Blitzchung over his pro-Hong Kong message in a post-match interview has continued to escalate; most recently, a World of Warcraft  15th anniversary event was postponed.

What do you think of Mike Ybarra moving from Microsoft to Blizzard Entertainment? Do you think he’ll be able to get the company through their current crisis? Let us know in the comments below!



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