Just a week after Shawn Layden suddenly departed from PlayStation, Microsoft's Mike Ybarra has announced his departure from the company after 20 years of service. Ybarra announced his move on Twitter feed last night. At the time of writing there are no signs of a replacement for his position.
Ybarra has worked on diverse projects since 2000, including the launch of Windows 7 and Xbox Live. More recently Ybarra has been the Corporate VP for Xbox projects such as the critically acclaimed Xbox Game Pass and the integration of Mixer.
Ybarra hasn't shared details of his next project, but as perhaps the most publically communicative of Xbox's upper leadership he has been assuring his followers that he will still be gaming and streaming under his Qwik gamertag.
What we don't know — naturally — is why Ybarra is leaving now in the midst of Xbox's determined charge to regain some ground on PlayStation in the next generation, with tons of new studios joining the Xbox label and a new console arriving in 12 months. While it certainly could be an entirely personal move, the timing is interesting. Shawn Layden was far from Ybarra's equivalent at PlayStation, but they were both highly visible spokespeople for the brands, and they have both left just a year out from the next big project — and leaving significant empty positions to fill.
We will share more details on Ybarra's departure and his replacement if they become known.
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