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J. Allard in costume after losing a bet in which he said that the Sony PSP wouldn't pass 10 million units sold  (Source: Zune Online)

Robbie Bach
J. Allard leaving Microsoft after 19 years on the job

We reported earlier today that some shakeups were on the way from Microsoft with regards to its Entertainment & Devices Division. It had already been widely speculated that J. Allard, chief experience officer and chief technology officer, was leaving. It was also reported that Robbie Bach could also be shown the door.

TechFlash now reports that both Allard and Bach are leaving Microsoft. According to TechFlash's Todd Bishop, the departure of Allard and Bach will give CEO Steve Ballmer more direct control over Microsoft's struggling sectors (namely its Zune and Windows Mobile units).

Although there has been speculation that Allard might jump ship to Google and work on that company's tablet efforts, he refuted those claims and said that he wants to unwind for a bit and tackle “personal interests” after working at Microsoft for 19 years.

For his part, Ballmer stated the following in a company email announcing the departures:

Transitions are always hard. Robbie has been an instrumental part of so many key moments in Microsoft history — from the evolution of Office to the decision to create the first Xbox to pushing the company hard in entertainment overall. J as well has had a great impact in the market and on our culture, providing leadership in design, and in creating a passionate and involved Xbox community, and earlier being at the center of our work seizing the importance of the Web for the company...

Both have been great team builders with a strong record of attracting, coaching and growing talent. As a result, their teams are primed to continue to step up and deliver great products, great services and great results for the company.

You can read Ballmer's full email to the troops here.





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