A sad day for Microsoft as the software giant bids adieu to its pioneers J. Allard and Robbie Bach. Allard has served Microsoft in the capacity of CTO, Device Division and has seconded Robbie in the Entertainment division, which Robbie is a President of. The duo has been the main force behind Zune, Project Natal and the famed Xbox.
If I am not wrong, the two have been the main players behind all innovation from Microsoft in the Entertainment side in the last ten years or so. With them they take a bulk of experience and expertise, just wonder what motivated them to wave goodbye.
Steve Ballmer announced their departure in email and informed about the transitions. As per his email:
I am making several organization changes to ensure we have the right leaders in the right positions as we set ourselves up for the next big wave of products and services. Effective July 1, Don Mattrick, who leads our interactive entertainment business, and Andy Lees, who leads our mobile communications business, will report directly to me. Don and Andy have built out strong leadership teams and product pipelines, and are well-positioned for the years ahead. Independent of Robbie’s decision, J Allard (currently serving as senior vice president of Design and Development for E&D), will also be leaving Microsoft. Given his ongoing passion and commitment to Microsoft, he will remain as an advisor to me, helping incubation efforts, looking at design and UI, and providing a cross-company perspective on these and similar topics. With J’s change in role, corporate vice president David Treadwell will join IEB to lead the core technology organization, reporting to Don. David has a great set of accomplishments at Microsoft, most recently working on the Windows Live Platform Services team. Over the next several months, Robbie and I will work together to finalize reporting and structure for the rest of his org.
There have been quite some changes in Microsoft lately and somehow almost everyone jumps up to blame Microsoft and prophesize its upcoming doom. While there is no harm in creating a cry over this and changes as big as this are always suspicious, it shouldn’t necessarily mean that a big organization has seen its zenith and is heading down the hill. I am just trying to tell myself this as this current change makes me think a bit along the same lines.