Blizzard Entertainment president Mike Ybarra is departing the company today, says it’s time to ‘become Blizzard’s biggest fan from the outside’

Mike Ybarra attends Blizzard Entertainment's launch party for the game Diablo 4 at Vibiana on May 31, 2023 in Los Angeles, California.
(Image credit: Michael Tullberg/Getty Images)

The president of Blizzard Entertainment, Mike Ybarra, has announced that he’s departing the company today (January 25). 

In a statement posted to Twitter / X, Ybarra said that his role leading the company and being part of its team had been “an absolute honor” and that “it’s time for me to (once again) become Blizzard’s biggest fan from the outside.” This announcement comes alongside the news that Microsoft is laying off around 1,900 members of staff from across the Xbox, Activision Blizzard and ZeniMax teams. 

Referring to the layoffs, Ybarra said: “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.”

He also shared his thanks to “the incredible teams at Blizzard,” and noted: “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.”

Wrapping things up, he added: “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.”

It's worth noting that as per an internal memo written by Microsoft Studios Matt Booty (which TechRadar Gaming has confirmed to be authentic), it was stated that Ybarra decided to leave the company. Also leaving the company is Blizzard Entertainment co-founder and chief design officer Allen Adham.

According to Booty, the next Blizzard Entertainment president will be decided next week. 

Looking for more fantastic game recommendations? Look no further than our roundups of the best Xbox Series X games, as well as the best PC games.

Catherine Lewis
News Writer, TechRadar Gaming

Catherine is a News Writer for TechRadar Gaming. Armed with a journalism degree from The University of Sheffield, she was sucked into the games media industry after spending far too much time on her university newspaper writing about Pokémon and cool indie games, and realising that was a very cool job, actually. She previously spent 19 months working at GAMINGbible as a full-time journalist. She loves all things Nintendo, and will never stop talking about Xenoblade Chronicles.