Mike Ybarra, the former Xbox exec who announced his departure from Microsoft earlier this month after 20 years with the company, has revealed that he'll soon be joining Blizzard Entertainment as executive vice president and general manager.
Ybarra, who previously served as corporate vice president of Microsoft's gaming division across Xbox and PC, revealed his new role on Twitter earlier today, confirming that his tenure with Blizzard will begin on 4th November.
Ybarra joins Blizzard at a challenging time. The company has seen lay-offs and high-profile departures over the last 12 months, and is still reeling from the shockwaves of its hugely unpopular decision to censure Hearthstone Grandmaster Chung "Blitzchung" Ng Wai after he showed support for the Hong Kong protests during an official livestream.
And Blizzard remains stuck in the shadow of last year's disastrously ill-judged BlizzCon too, when it was forced to weather another fan backlash after the reveal of its Diablo Immortal mobile game. The company will be hoping it can get its community back onside during next month's BlizzCon, with persistent rumours around the show suggesting it'll be a big one.
Ybarra has already confirmed that he'll be in attendance, and says of his new appointment, "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."