Mike Ybarra stepping down as Xbox corporate vice president

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‘It’s time for my next adventure’

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After an incredible 20 years of service, Xbox corporate vice president Mike Ybarra has announced that he is leaving the company, citing desires to begin his “next adventure”.

Ybarra first joined Xbox way back in 2000 as a systems engineer, transitioning from a role at IT giant Hewlett-Packard. In the following years, Ybarra would work on multiple priority projects for the green-glowin’ video game brand, being a key figure in the development of Windows 7, Xbox Live and Xbox Game Studios. Ybarra would take the corporate vice president of program management role in 2017, where he has overseen Mixer, Xbox Game Pass, and Xbox Live, among other projects.

“After 20 years at Microsoft, it’s time for my next adventure,” said Ybarra on Twitter. “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… Most importantly I want to thank all of you fellow gamers, and our great fans, for all the support. Keep gaming and I hope to see you online soon!”

Ybarra announcement is the latest in a line of head honchos who are stepping away from the roles that had, in many ways, become namesakes and lifestyles. Just a fortnight again, Sony’s Shawn Layden announced his departure from a company he had been with for 30 years, immediately followed by SIE Japan president Atsushi Morita. Back in April, Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime also called time on an illustrious career.

The current video game scene, particularly on a development and corporate level, seems to be one of constant work, 24/7 communication, repeatedly scrapped ideas, constantly-shifting technology, and media scrutiny. Perhaps, with one of the most speculative and experimental generations the industry has ever seen on the horizon, some of these long-timers have decided that it might be a good time to step away, allowing them to concentrate on fresher ideas and their personal lives, leaving the next-generation to those who would follow in their footsteps.

Mike Ybarra departs Microsoft [Gamesindustry.biz]

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Chris Moyse
Senior Editor - Chris has been playing video games since the 1980s and writing about them since the 1880s. Graduated from Galaxy High with honors. Twitter: @ChrisxMoyse