Microsoft Entertainment Division boss Robbie Bach and Devices Division boss J Allard are leaving the company, and a management restructuring will give CEO Steve Ballmer more direct control over its mobile devices. While the company will work on replacing Mr. Bach, Mr. Allard’s job will go unfilled, leaving the Xbox and Windows Mobile managers answering directly to Mr. Ballmer, according to Tech Flash.
Mr. Allard will, however, continue to work with Microsoft as an advisor, presumably to offer guidance with the company’s Xbox and Zune projects — both of which he oversaw as an employee.
Microsoft plans to put David Treadwell in charge of the core technology group in the company’s Interactive Entertainment Business, which includes the Xbox gaming system, in June.
With two of the company’s heavy hitters leaving, Microsoft will have to regroup and work on its strategies to compete in the mobile electronics market. So far, its Zune media player hasn’t been able to build a sizable user base compared to the iPod, and Windows Mobile-based smartphones have been losing market share to the iPhone, and now Google’s Android platform, too.
Just how well Microsoft can compete in the mobile market without Mr. Bach and Mr. Allard on board remains to be seen, but it seems likely that the managers taking over for them have a lot of work ahead to keep up.