Former Xbox boss Mike Ybarra joins Blizzard as new VP and GM

Cal Jeffrey

TS Evangelist
Staff member

Former Xbox executive Mike Ybarra will soon be the executive vice president and general manager at Blizzard.

Ybarra served nearly 20 years at Microsoft starting as a systems engineer in 2000, In 2009, he was promoted to general manager of Xbox Live. He had since taken over executive responsibilities for Game Pass, and Mixer as well.

The VP tweeted on Thursday that he would be stepping into his new position on November 4, right after BlizzCon.

"We will work with all our energy to serve gamers with incredible content and experiences," he wrote. "I can't wait to be part of this team."

Blizzard has been without an official GM since co-founder Michael Morhaime stepped down last year. Ybarra will be taking the reins from Blizzard's president and co-founder, J. Allen Brack, who has been filling the void in the interim.

The new VP will be inheriting a PR nightmare when he steps into the office. The publisher has recently been embroiled in no little amount of controversy regarding the banning of professional player Ng "Blitzchung" Wai Chung for flashing a pro-Hong Kong sign during a post-tournament interview.

Rumors are circulating that Blizzard may be announcing Diablo 4 at BlizzCon next week. It seems like this speculation happens just about every year, but if the scuttlebutt holds true this time, it could be a fortunate turn of events for the fresh executive. An announcement of an imminent release of D4 could go a long way in quieting the uproar over the company's recent actions.

Image credit: Lauren Elisabeth via Shutterstock

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Peter Farkas

TS Evangelist
HotS too. What's left? OW, WoW? They are like all in on mobile diablo for the chinese market.
yep, if you go to china you will see every kid playing on their mobiles and less on their PCs, this is why they moved into that direction.
Pretty bad for us, the loyal fans for more than a decade as we are not getting sh*t from them for long years. The extra content in SC2 was mediocre and we would have needed much more than that.
 

Bannhammer

TS Enthusiast
yep, if you go to china you will see every kid playing on their mobiles and less on their PCs, this is why they moved into that direction.
Pretty bad for us, the loyal fans for more than a decade as we are not getting sh*t from them for long years. The extra content in SC2 was mediocre and we would have needed much more than that.
It's not the Blizzard we knew and loved, this is Activision-Blizzard -- a company controlled by suits with no passion for games or desire to appeal to their die hard fans. Money is the bottom line.

Ybarra will be taking the reins from Blizzard's president and co-founder, J. Allen Brack, who has been filling the void in the interim.
Also J Allen Brack started with Blizzard in 2005; he was not a co-founder.
 
They canned the first crew from X-Box Kilgore and Ingals. Second crew incoming?

Definition of insanity: Doing the same thing over again expecting a different result.
 

treetops

TS Evangelist
Maybe this is why they don't put a microphone in front of gold medal winners? (from what I remember I don't watch the olympics)