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Microsoft confirms Bach, Allard departures

Bach to retire and concentrate on non-profit work, Allard to remain strategic advisor to CEO Ballmer

Microsoft has confirmed that Robbie Bach, president of the Entertainment and Devices division which oversees the Xbox business, is to retire from the company this autumn.

Don Mattrick, senior vice president, who leads the Interactive Entertainment Business, and Andy Lees, responsible for Mobile Communications, will now both report to CEO Steve Ballmer from July 1.

J Allard, original Xbox evangelist for the company, has also left after 19 years, but will take an official role as advisor to Ballmer and his leadership team.

David Treadwell, corporate VP of Live Platform Services will take a new position leading the core technology organisation for the Interactive Entertainment Business, reporting to Mattrick.

"At Microsoft, I’ve been so fortunate to spend more than two decades of my life working with incredible people and doing amazing things like launching Office, Xbox and Xbox Live, the Halo franchise, Windows Phones, Zune and more," said Bach in an official statement.

"I'm at the time in my life where I want to dedicate more time to my family and my non-profit work, including my work with the Boys & Girls Clubs of America. I have the utmost confidence in Steve, Don and Andy and their ability to see through our mission of bringing extraordinary entertainment and mobility experiences to life for people around the world."

The confirmation comes after two days of speculation about Allard and what one site reported as a "shake up" of senior management.

Ballmer paid tribute to Allard, saying that he bought "a game-changing creative magic to Microsoft for years, from Windows to Xbox, from Zune to KIN"

"He was one of the key drivers in our early work on the Web, and we’re absolutely delighted that J’s role with the company will evolve in a way that lets all of Microsoft benefit from his business insight, technical depth and keen eye for consumer experience."

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Matt Martin


Matt Martin joined GamesIndustry in 2006 and was made editor of the site in 2008. With over ten years experience in journalism, he has written for multiple trade, consumer, contract and business-to-business publications in the games, retail and technology sectors.