Former Xbox VP Mike Ybarra Announces He is Joining Blizzard
Following a few weeks of silence, Mike Ybarra has announced that Blizzard will be his next venture.
A few weeks back, then Xbox Vice President Mike Ybarra announced that he would be leaving Microsoft after over 20 years with the company. He didn’t say at the time what his new destination would be, but as of now, we know where he’ll be heading.
Ybarra announced tonight via his personal Twitter account that as of November 4, he will be joining Blizzard Entertainment. Ybarra will take over the role of Executive Vice President and GM. “I can’t wait to be part of this team,” Ybarra said, also adding that he’ll be present at BlizzCon next week as well.
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 is joining Blizzard in a time where the game publisher and developer has been under more scrutiny than ever before. The backlash stems from a situation that transpired earlier this month after Blizzard banned a Hearthstone pro player that goes by Blitzchung for calling for liberation in Hong Kong while live on a Blizzard stream. Blitzchung was originally banned from the Hearthstone scene for a year and forfeited his winnings from a recent tournament as well, but Blizzard then reduced the ban to six months and decided to also still give him his reward money. To many though, this situation is still one lingering over the company’s head and is something that likely needs to be addressed in a more direct manner next week at BlizzCon.
With Ybarra taking control of one of the more prominent roles at Blizzard moving forward, hopefully, he’ll provide the change that the company needs to ensure that something like this will never happen again. While Blizzard can’t undo the damage to its brand that it has surely suffered over the past few weeks, let’s just hope that Ybarra’s leadership can be one that guides the company well in the future.