– Microsoft (NASD:  MSFT) on Tuesday
announced a major restructuring of the entertainment and devices division that
houses its Xbox team, including the departures of Robbie Bach, who leads the division,
and chief technology officer J Allard. The company said that Bach is retiring,
and his position will be eliminated. "Robbie’s an amazing
business person and close personal friend, which makes his departure a point of
sadness for me," said Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.

"However, given
the strong leadership team he has built, the business performance of E&D
this year and the launches of Windows Phone 7 and ‘Project Natal’ this fall, we
are set up well for success as we continue to drive our mobile and entertainment
businesses forward."

The entertainment and devices division will now be
run by SVP Don Mattrick, head of the company’s interactive entertainment
business, and SVP Andy Lees, head of the company’s mobile communications
business — who will report directly to Ballmer.

In addition to the Xbox, which
has been considered generally a success, Microsoft’s entertainment and devices
division also encompasses its Windows Mobile operating system, and Zune media
player and related services.


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