The head and co-founder of Halo developer 343 Industries, Bonnie Ross, announced Monday that she’s leaving the Halo Infinite developer.
“While I had hoped to stay with Halo until we released the Winter Update, I am letting you know I will be leaving 343 and attending to a family medical issue,” Ross said in a tweet Monday. “I am incredibly proud of the work everyone at 343 Industries has done with Halo Infinite, the Master Chief Collection, the Halo television series and so much more. It has been an honor to serve alongside the team for the last 15 years and to be a part of a universe that I love.
“Thank you everyone in the Halo community for your support. Halo’s future is bright. I cannot wait for all of you to experience what we have in store — and to cheer alongside you, as a fan, at the Halo World Championship in October!”
Ross took charge of Microsoft’s 343 Industries after developer Bungie left Microsoft in 2007; she took control of the storied Halo franchise at that time. Her team helped Bungie complete its last Halo projects — Halo 3: ODST and Halo Reach — and began work on 343’s first official Halo game, Halo 4. Since then, Ross and her team have released Halo: The Master Chief Collection, bringing Halo once again to the PC, alongside Halo 5: Guardians and 2021’s Halo Infinite. Under her tenure, Microsoft also launched its long-in-development live-action Halo TV series, too.
343 Industries production head Pierre Hintze is taking over as studio head. Marketing head Brian Koski will step into the role of franchise general manager, according to Windows Central, while Halo veteran Elizabeth Van Wyck will lead business operations.
Reached for comment, a Microsoft spokesperson said, “After more than 28 years in gaming at Microsoft, including 15 years leading 343 Industries and Halo through its most ambitious steps forward, Bonnie Ross will be leaving Microsoft and spending more time with her family. We are thankful for her leadership of 343 during which the team launched Halo 4, Halo 5, Halo: The Master Chief Collection, the Halo television series, and Halo Infinite. We wish her all the best. Head of Production Pierre Hintze will become Studio Head effective immediately. The 343 team is hard at work shipping the Winter Update, the biggest Halo Infinite update since launch.”
Ross’ departure comes after a few tumultuous years for the Halo franchise. The studio’s current release, Halo Infinite, was delayed a full year in 2020, missing the launch of the Xbox Series X. When Halo Infinite was released, it was absent expected features like co-op play and Forge mode. 343 Industries expects to ship those features with the game’s winter update, due in November, and pledged to provide better live-service support for the game’s competitive multiplayer component. Earlier this month, 343 Industries shared a roadmap for these upcoming features and others, but delivered the bad news that Halo Infinite’s promised split-screen co-op mode had been axed.
Ross’ exit follows another major executive departure this year, after Halo Infinite design head Jerry Hook left the company in May.
Update: This story has been updated with comment from Microsoft.