J Allard â??set to quit Microsoftâ??

J Allard â??set to quit Microsoftâ??

By Rob Crossley

May 24th 2010 at 9:54AM

Microsoftâ??s Entertainment and Devices exec leaving after infighting, report claims

A high-profile member of the original Xbox executive team is quitting Microsoft under acrimonious circumstances, a news report claims.

J 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, Allard has been conspicuously absent at Microsoft – making no public appearances and undertaking no interviews since the release of Zune HD last year.

The reason, according to a new ZDNet report, is that Allard is quitting the company after several apparent threats to do so.

”One of my sources who has been a pretty reliable tipster in the past has told me that Allard is on sabbatical and is unlikely to return,” the report writes.

The piece suggests tensions at the upper echelons at Microsoft, with disagreements between Allard and CEO Steve Ballmer over the decision not to pursue production of the Courier Tablet.

Allard had apparently championed the potential of the device, though it is said Ballmer grew cold of the idea.

Allard’s bio page on the Microsoft website remains intact, while the company itself has declined to comment on ‘rumour and speculation’. ZDNet has, to date, a strong reputation for reporting accurate news from its own sources.