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Larry "Major Nelson" Hryb departs Microsoft after 22 years

To "work on the next chapter of my career."

Larry "Major Nelson" Hryb, long one of the most recognisable presences on the Xbox team, has announced his departure from Microsoft after 22 years.

Hryb has been with Microsoft since early 2001, initially serving as editor-in-chief for MSN Music before joining the company's Xbox division two years later. As a senior product manager for Xbox, Hryb was focused on helping shape the Xbox Live community experience - he credits himself as being a key contributor in features such as Xbox's Achievement system and party chat - and would go on to become senior director of corporate communications in 2012.

Over the years, Major Nelson - a name derived form Hryb's Gamertag - has been something of a figurehead for Xbox, relaying Xbox-Live-related information to the community and having a prominent presence in its various community focused blogs, livestreams, podcasts, and shows.

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Now, though, Hryb is off to pastures new. "After 20 incredible years," he wrote on Twitter, "I have decided to take a step back and work on the next chapter of my career."

"As I take a moment and think about all we have done together," Hryb continued, "I want to thank the millions of gamers around the world who have included me as part of their lives. Also, thanks to Xbox team members for trusting me to have a direct dialogue with our customers. The future is bright for Xbox and as a gamer, I am excited to see the evolution."

Following today's announcement, various prominent industry figures including Blizzard's Mike Ybarra and looming industry presence Geoff Keighley paid tribute to Hryb's contribution to Xbox. "Thanks Larry for everything you have done to make Xbox what it is today," Ybarra shared in a tweet. "Incredible impact, always a positive attitude, and a pleasure to work with."

Keighley, meanwhile, wrote, "Thanks for all you have done over all these decades for our industry - still fondly remember hosting many Xbox launches with you."

Hryb is yet to share details of what his next professional venture might be following his departure from Microsoft, but does say he's going to "take some time to spend time with my family (no really!) and enjoy the Seattle Summer. As many of you know, I never really took time now I will take that opportunity."

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