Larry “Major Nelson” Hryb, a prominent figure on the Xbox team, has recently announced his departure from Microsoft after an impressive tenure of 22 years. Hryb’s journey with the tech giant began in early 2001 when he joined as the editor-in-chief for MSN Music. Two years later, he transitioned to the Xbox division, where he served as a senior product manager, playing a pivotal role in shaping the Xbox Live community experience. Notably, Hryb’s contributions include the development of features like the Xbox Achievement system and party chat. In 2012, he was promoted to the position of senior director of corporate communications, further solidifying his influence within the company.
Throughout his time at Microsoft, Major Nelson, a nickname derived from Hryb’s Gamertag, became a recognizable and beloved presence for the Xbox community. He acted as a conduit, relaying important Xbox Live-related information and engaging with the community through various platforms, such as blogs, livestreams, podcasts, and shows.
However, Hryb has now announced his decision to explore new opportunities outside of Microsoft. Taking to Twitter, he shared his gratitude for the past two decades, stating, “After 20 incredible years, I have decided to take a step back and work on the next chapter of my career.” Hryb expressed his appreciation for the millions of gamers worldwide who have embraced him as part of their lives. He also thanked the Xbox team for their trust in allowing him to establish a direct dialogue with customers, and expressed his enthusiasm for the bright future of Xbox, eagerly anticipating its evolution as a gamer himself.
Upon the announcement of his departure, industry luminaries, including Mike Ybarra from Blizzard and Geoff Keighley, a prominent figure in the gaming industry, paid tribute to Hryb’s significant contributions to Xbox. Ybarra took to Twitter to express his gratitude, saying, “Thanks Larry for everything you have done to make Xbox what it is today. Incredible impact, always a positive attitude, and a pleasure to work with.” Keighley also reminisced, stating, “Thanks for all you have done over all these decades for our industry – still fondly remember hosting many Xbox launches with you.“
Although Hryb has not revealed specific details about his future endeavors following his departure from Microsoft, he did mention his intention to take some time off to spend with his family and enjoy the Seattle Summer. Acknowledging his reputation for rarely taking time off, he emphasized his eagerness to seize this opportunity.