Former Xbox vice president Mike Ybarra has announced that he’s joining Blizzard. In a tweet last night, Ybarra, who left Microsoft earlier this month, said that he’ll be joining the developer early next month as executive vice president and general manager.
Ybarra confirmed that the start date for his new role is November 4, meaning that he’ll be at this year’s Blizzcon. That’s likely to be something of a baptism by fire, for better or worse - not only is Blizzard rumoured to have a series of big announcements lined up, but it also faces some difficult questions from fans over its handling of Hearthstone player Blitzchung’s vocal support for the Hong Kong protests during an official livestream.
Nevertheless, Ybarra seems enthusiastic, saying that “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.”
I'm very happy to announce I'm joining @Blizzard_Ent as Exec. Vice President and GM starting 11/4 (will be at #blizzcon!). 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. #lucky #humble #gamers #serve pic.twitter.com/kZ8dRuF3pe
— Mike Ybarra (@Qwik) October 24, 2019
Ybarra joined Microsoft back in 2000, and was promoted to general manager of Xbox Live in 2009, eventually becoming corporate vice president of gaming in 2017. He announced his departure from the company on October 9, after nearly 20 years with the company.