A year ago, as part of a Microsoft layoff, the company cut 10,000 jobs. Now Microsoft has cut 1900 jobs in the gaming division. Blizzard President Mike Ybarra is also leaving the company and while Microsoft’s game content and studios president Matt Booty said that Ybarra chose to leave, reports claim otherwise.
Blizzard President Mike Ybarra Might Have Been Forced Out As Part Of Microsoft Layoff
Matt Booty, in an internal memo, mentioned that Ybarra decided to leave the company. The following is what Booty had to say regarding the matter:
As many of you know, Mike previously spent more than 20 years at Microsoft. Now that he has seen the acquisition through as Blizzard’s president, he has decided to leave the company. As we move forward, we will continue to build on the positive momentum that Mike created and strive to continue exceeding the expectations of Blizzard’s players. I want to thank Mike for his leadership and for his partnership and counsel since the deal closed. I know he plans to travel and spend more time with his family. We wish him the very best.
Jason Schreier, Reporter at Bloomberg, reports that when he met Ybarra at Blizzcon in November he had no plans of leaving the company and was interested in staying long-term.
In another Tweet, Schreier reinforced the claim that Ybarra might have been forced out of Blizzard.
This implies that something changed between November and now. It is possible that Ybarra was forced to leave the company. It is also possible that in light of layoffs, Ybarra decided to leave the company in protest. Interestingly, Ybarra previously left Xbox to work at Blizzard and now that Blizzard is owned by Microsoft, he has left once again.
A new Blizzard president will be named next week to replace Mike Ybarra. Ybarra has confirmed his exit via X (formerly Twitter).
Furthermore, Blizzard’s chief design officer and cofounder, Allen Adham is also leaving the company. Blizzard’s previously announced survival game codenamed Odyssey has been canceled as part of the new company roadmap.
While announcing the leaderboards and The Gauntlet for Diablo 4 at BlizzCon 2023, Tiffany Wat, Production Director for Diablo 4 jokingly said “Watch out Mike Ybarra, I’m coming for you”, but that turned out to be an understatement.
Let us know what you think about this Microsoft layoff round and whether or not you think Mike Ybarra was forced out.