Robbie Bach and J Allard say goodbye

Microsoft confirms exec departures.

Microsoft has confirmed overnight that Entertainment & Devices president Robbie Bach will leave the company this autumn after two decades of service, while internet and Xbox wunderkind J Allard is doing likewise.

"I'm at the time in my life where I want to dedicate more time to my family and my non-profit work," Bach said in a statement, in which he paid tribute to "the incredible people" he'd worked with at Microsoft.

Allard signed off with more flair in a missive entitled, "Decide. Change. Reinvent."

"If you've been following along, you probably understand just how difficult it was for me to decide to leave the tribe and explore new territory, but the time has come," he wrote.

"My passion for our cause combined with my obsessive nature has put many of my other interests on hold for a long time. I don't know exactly what tomorrow looks like - but if my focus has been 95 per cent MSFT, 5 per cent life until now, I know that the first step is to flip that ratio around."

The five per cent of time he continues to spend on "MSFT" will include projects he's working on with CEO Steve Ballmer later this year.

"In response to the curiosity, no chairs were thrown, no ultimatums served, I am not moving to Cupertino or Mountain View, I did not take a courier job and I require no assistance finding the door," he said.

Decoded, that means Ballmer didn't go mental like he allegedly did when Marc Lucovsky left, and Allard isn't off to Apple or Google. The "courier" thing may be in reference to reports last week that he was cross his Courier tablet project was scrapped.

"I'm going to put some energy into my passion for design, the arts and philanthropy," he continued.

"Please, put my headcount and that cardkey 'invitation' to good use. Find a college student that claims we don't get it and blogs tirelessly about our lack of agility. Track down an EE that has been focusing on fuel cells and has radical thoughts about power management. Or a social networking whiz who is tired of building little islands that go hot and cold and can't break the mainstream.

"Hire a designer who's given shape to two decades of beautiful automobiles and thinks we can sculpt technology to better connect to users. Infuse them with our purpose. Give them the tools. Give them lots of rope. Learn from them. Support where they take you. Invite them to redefine The Tribe."

Please come back one day, J.

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