Robbie Bach retires from Microsoft, J Allard turns advisor

According to an internal company memo, Entertainment and Devices Division president Robbie Bach is set to retire from Microsoft this fall after a 22-year run with the company. His decision to retire is due to understandable personal reasons, saying, “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.”

The memo also confirms that J Allard, senior vice president of Design and Development for Bach’s division and ‘father’ of the Xbox, would also be leaving Microsoft but will remain an advisor to CEO Steve Ballmer. No word from Allard on the reason behind his occupational shift.

Both men were an integral part of Microsoft’s success, with Bach leading the charge in the evolution of the Office brand, deciding to go ahead with creation of the first Xbox, and working hard to make the entertainment division a success. Allard was the driving force behind a “passionate and involved Xbox community,” a leader in design for Microsoft, and made the company recognize the importance of the web.

With the announcement of Bach’s retirement and Allard’s transition to an advisory role, the Microsoft has announced organizational shifts 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.” These changes include having Don Mattrick, Senior Vice President of Interactive Entertainment Business, and Andy Lees, Senior Vice President, Mobile Communications Business, report directly to Ballmer.