Chris Early, general manager for Games for Windows Live, has been listed among the casualties of Microsoft's first sweeping round of layoffs. While Microsoft has yet to make a formal announcement, VentureBeat's Dean Takahashi reports that emails to Early have bounced, and surmises that "more well-known managers will exit now there are fewer people to manage."

The former exec was first put in charge of GFWL in July 2007, and had been an evangelist for the platform since the early days of Live Anywhere. Takahashi ponders if this might signal the beginning of the end for service altogether, which despite a recent revamp has struggled to find acceptance. We wish Early the best of luck as we turn our heads skyward and wonder aloud if anyone in this economy is truly safe.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.