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Xbox’s Major Nelson is leaving Microsoft after 22 years

Xbox’s Major Nelson is leaving Microsoft after 22 years


Larry Hryb, a well-known face of the Xbox brand over the past two decades, is departing the company.

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Xbox One launch party photos
Xbox’s Larry “Major Nelson” Hryb at the Xbox One launch event in New York City.
Photo by Chris Welch / The Verge

Larry Hryb, an Xbox employee perhaps better known by his “Major Nelson” alias, is leaving Microsoft, he announced on Friday. Hryb has been a major face for many of Xbox’s marketing activities since the days of the original Xbox and Xbox Live online service, through the launch of the Xbox 360 and all of the years since.

“After 20 incredible years, I have decided to take a step back and work on the next chapter of my career,” he tweeted. “As I take a moment and think about all we have done together, I want to thank the millions of gamers around the world who have included me as part of their lives.”

In January, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said coming changes would reduce the company’s workforce by 10,000 employees, or about 5 percent of its 220,000 person workforce, by Q3 this year. Hryb’s departure follows a GeekWire report on Monday pointing out a Washington State Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) notice posted by Microsoft indicating the layoff of 276 workers, impacting personnel in customer service, support, and sales.

Hryb's activities included hosting Microsoft’s Official Xbox Podcast and regularly sharing news from the Xbox team with his more than 1 million followers on Twitter. Even though he’s leaving, he says the podcast will be “taking a hiatus” over the summer and will return “in a new format.”

Many are expressing their appreciation for Hryb on Twitter, including Xbox boss Phil Spencer and even the official PlayStation account. Ralph Jodice, who works for a PR agency that supports the Xbox team, shared a thread with many fun photos, including Hryb trading cards.

Hryb hasn’t said where he might be headed next, though he is going to take some time off with his family and enjoy summer in Seattle.