NEWS - Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Microsoft Shake Up Confirmed as Bach, Allard Leave

Robbie Bach and J Allard, two of the most influential names in Microsoft’s entertainment division, are retiring from the company. Kotaku reports that a memo from CEO Steve Ballmer announced the departures to employees this morning. "This has been a phenomenal year for [Entertainment & Devices] overall," the memo read, "and with the coming launches of both Windows Phone 7 and ’Project Natal,’ the rest of the year looks stupendous as well."
Robbie Bach currently works as the president of the E&D division, and he will stay on staff until the fall. J Allard, chief experience officer and chief technology officer of the E&D division, is leaving as well, but will continue as an advisor to Ballmer working on "incubation efforts, looking at design and UI, and providing a cross-company perspective." To fill the void left by their absences, Don Mattrick of the interactive entertainment business and Andy Lees from mobile communications will report directly to Ballmer. David Treadwell will also be joining the interactive entertainment business under Mattrick. Other restructuring efforts are taking place in the office productivity groups.

This follows on the heels of (apparently true) rumors that J Allard planned to leave the company, followed shortly after by a report that the company planned to "shake up" the management in its entertainment division. Today certainly qualifies as that shake-up, though we’re sure to see other transitions continuing as Microsoft restructures its divisions.

"I want to close by thanking Robbie for the incalculable contributions he has made to Microsoft over the years," said Ballmer in the memo. "He will be greatly missed when he retires this fall, and I am glad that I’ll have the opportunity to continue working closely with him between now and then. And as J makes a similar transition, I look forward to working with him in a new way."



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