Blizzard president Mike Ybarra leaves as Xbox axes 1,900 jobs

Current Blizzard president Mike Ybarra is stepping down, will leave role while Microsoft lays off 1,900 people across its entire Xbox gaming segment.

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Blizzard president Mike Ybarra has announced that he is leaving the company. The news comes shortly after Microsoft told employees that it will cut 1,900 jobs (about 8.6% of workers affected) across its entire Xbox gaming division.

Blizzard president Mike Ybarra leaves as Xbox axes 1,900 jobs 1

Following the disruptive layoff announcement, Microsoft's gaming division appears to be in chaos right now. Today, Xbox lost some top leadership at Blizzard as both president Mike Ybarra and founder/chief design officer Allen Adham are leaving the billion-dollar company.

According to Bloomberg's Jason Schreier, today's cost-cutting measures also affected projects. Blizzard's upcoming survival game set in a new IP has been cancelled--it was codenamed Odyssey.

Schreier also notes that Ybarra voluntarily departed as chief of Blizzard. Interestingly enough, in a Bloomberg TV episode, Schreier says that Ybarra's departure wasn't entirely a surprise. Apparently some of Ybarra's internal decisions were not popular.

"Someone will drag me out of Blizzard. That's how long I will be here," Ybarra had told Bloomberg months ago.

The ex-Blizzard president left this message on Twitter:

I want to thank everyone who is impacted today for their meaningful contributions to their teams, to Blizzard, and to players' lives. It's an incredibly hard day and my energy and support will be focused on all those amazing individuals impacted - this is in no way a reflection on your amazing work. If there's anything I can help with, connections, recommendations, etc., DM me.

To the Blizzard community: I also want to let you all know today is my last day at Blizzard. Leading Blizzard through an incredible time and being part of the team, shaping it for the future ahead, was an absolute honor. Having already spent 20+ years at Microsoft and with the acquisition of Activision Blizzard behind us, it's time for me to (once again) become Blizzard's biggest fan from the outside.

To the incredible teams at Blizzard - thank you. Words can't express how I feel about all of you. You are amazing. Continue to do incredible things and always keep Blizzard blue and the player at the forefront of every decision.

To all of those impacted today - I am always available to you and understand how challenging today's news is. My heart is with each one of you.

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Derek joined the TweakTown team in 2015 and has since reviewed and played 1000s of hours of new games. Derek is absorbed with the intersection of technology and gaming, and is always looking forward to new advancements. With over six years in games journalism under his belt, Derek aims to further engage the gaming sector while taking a peek under the tech that powers it. He hopes to one day explore the stars in No Man's Sky with the magic of VR.

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