Leaked memo suggests Microsoft shake-up underway [Update: Microsoft confirms]

Robbie Bach and J Allard to quit Microsoft

An internal email apparently sent by Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer suggests that both Robbie Bach and J Allard are departing from Microsoft.

[Update: Since the publication of this story, Microsoft has confirmed the departure in a seperate press release.]

The memo – which appears to have been sent earlier today – details the rumoured restructuring taking place at the Redmond, Washington-based outfit.

The letter, which has yet to be verified, claims that two high-profile Microsoft executives will now report directly to Ballmer – a telling reorganisation that suggests the Xbox division will be more embedded in the Microsoft business.

The email in its entirety has been posted on Kotaku, and can be found here.

It reads: “Effective July 1, Don Mattrick, who leads our interactive entertainment business, and Andy Lees, who leads our mobile communications business, will report directly to me.”

Robbie Bach will remain at the company until the latter months of 2010, the letter claims – bringing an end to 22 years at Microsoft. The memo suggests he is retiring.

Separate rumours suggest that Allard had left Microsoft in less-than-amicable circumstances – a rumour which the email has echoed.

“Independent of Robbie’s decision, J Allard will also be leaving Microsoft,” it read.

However, the note adds that Allard will remain in business with the company, working as an advisor for Ballmer, “helping incubation efforts, looking at design and UI, and providing a cross-company perspective on these and similar topics.”

It adds: “With J’s change in role, corporate vice president David Treadwell will join IEB to lead the core technology organization, reporting to Don [Mattrick].”

Rounding off the long email, Ballmer lavished Bach with praise for his efforts, though a similar sentiment was not reserved for Allard:

“I want to close by thanking Robbie for the incalculable contributions he has made to Microsoft over the years. He will be greatly missed when he retires this fall, and I am glad that I’ll have the opportunity to continue working closely with him between now and then.

“And as J makes a similar transition, I look forward to working with him in a new way.”

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