â??Allard walkout part of wider Microsoft shake-upâ??

â??Allard walkout part of wider Microsoft shake-upâ??

By Rob Crossley

May 25th 2010 at 9:51AM

Suspected restructure at the Entertainment and Devices division ahead of Natal launch

Microsoft is set to "shake up the management" of its Entertainment and Devices division, a news report claims.

It is suggested in The Wall Street Journal that Microsoft will rearrange the division that overlooks the Xbox business, just weeks ahead of the company’s crucial E3 press conference.

The WSJ speculated that the Entertainment and Devices division ‘shake-up’ is to take place as early as this week – a claim made in the wake of rumours that former Xbox evangelist J Allard is leaving the company under a cloud.

Allard has in recent years been synonymous with the Xbox 360 brand, fronting his unique corporate persona in interviews and press conferences as Microsoft launched its flagship home console.

Recently, he has been conspicuously absent at Microsoft – making no public appearances and undertaking no interviews since the release of Zune HD last year. Various reports suggest he is quitting the company after several apparent threats to do so.

The suspected rearrangement at the Entertainment and Devices division comes as Microsoft looks to reinvigorate the Xbox 360 with new controllerless device, Project Natal, in a bid to branch the Xbox brand out to a casual audience as well as the core it serves today.