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Microsoft Loses Xbox Creator & Entertainment Division President

Gordon Kelly


Microsoft Loses Xbox Creator & Entertainment Division President

With Microsoft's Xbox arguably the pick of current generation consoles (look what I just started there... oops), the Zune HD the most credible iPod touch challenger on the market and gaming on Windows Phone 7 looking cutting edge you'd obviously let the two most important people in your Entertainment and Devices division go wouldn't you?!

Bizarrely that is the startling news out of Redmond today with Microsoft confirming Entertainment & Devices president Robbie Bach (left) and E&D senior VP of design and development and Xbox creator J. Allard (right) have both left the company.

We await an official statement, but in an email to Microsoft employees Steve Ballmer said:

"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."

Bach will be 'retiring' after 22 years at the company (aged 48?!) and Allard changing to an advisory role. Interestingly, news of the moves had leaked out earlier in the week, but with a more sour tone. These talked of major disagreements over the cancellation of Microsoft's exciting Courier tablet (video above - courtesy of Engadget) with the two men apparently keen supporters. That said, Microsoft is unlikely to air its dirty laundry in public so we may never know.

Either way, conspiracy theories will be rampant and question marks raised about the future of Microsoft's entertainment plans. Us? We're still just sad the Courier has gone...

Link: All Things Digital


May 26, 2010, 2:33 pm

"look what I just started there" lol!

I'm also sad the courier has gone :(.


May 26, 2010, 3:28 pm

Since when did Andre Agassi work for MS?!

But more to the point, it's a really pity MS didn't follow through with the courier, it's about the only thing I've seen that has got me really excited about the tablet form!


May 26, 2010, 3:59 pm

Well the cancellation of the courier was one of the stupidest decisions by Microsoft really so it doesnt surprise me if they were upset

I had read elsewhere that these two were leaving, so I had held out a hope that they were taking the courier project outside of microsoft and keeping it alive as their own project. Unfortunately not it seems with the additional information you have here tho :-(

R.I.P Courier, you would have been a game changer and the first truly useful tablet PC....


May 26, 2010, 4:40 pm

J Allard's exit email makes for a pretty interesting read if anyone cares:-


particularly the ending and his final words so to speak;

{Please, put my headcount and that cardkey &#8220invitation&#8221 to good use. Find a college student that claims we don&#8217t get it and blogs tirelessly about our lack of agility. Track down an EE that has been focusing on fuel cells and has radical thoughts about power management. Or a social networking whiz who is tired of building little islands that go hot and cold and can&#8217t break the mainstream. Hire a designer who&#8217s given shape to 2 decades of beautiful automobiles and thinks we can sculpt technology to better connect to users. Infuse them with our purpose. Give them the tools. Give them lots of rope. Learn from them. Support where they take you. Invite them to redefine The Tribe.

Decide. Change. Reinvent.}


May 26, 2010, 7:07 pm

Can you stop putting up those videos?

It makes me want one really badly and it's never going to happen


May 26, 2010, 7:30 pm

@Kieran - it's for those who don't know what the courier is/was... oh and also to TORTURE those who really wanted one ;)


May 26, 2010, 8:00 pm

@Gordon Thats just evil, torturing us like that! I can imagine you sitting there cackling and tapping fingers like Mr Burns.


May 26, 2010, 9:08 pm

@theory28 - Thanks for the link. It does make for an interesting read, though does come across slightly like a recruitment drive (for a tribe of tech/software enthusiasts).

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