J. Allard’s goobye letter to the Tribe

Here’s Microsoft’s J.Allard goodbye letter / mail that he sent out internally a few hours ago. I think that should all take the time to read it because it’s just really good. Thanks to Mary Jo Foley who managed to get her hands on it:

From: J Allard
Date: May 25, 2010 8:56:08 AM PDT
To: “Robert (Robbie) Bach”, Entertainment & Devices Division FTE
Cc: Senior Leadership Team
Subject: 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.

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% MSFT, 5% life until now, I know that the first step is to flip that ratio around. After wrapping some projects up, I will shift to 95% life and 5% MSFT. With that 5% I’ll be working for SteveB on a couple of projects beginning this fall…..

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. I do know that I’m going to help a couple of friends get their startups going (e.g. The Clymb), I’m planning some races (by foot, bike and off-road trucks), and I’m going to put some energy into my passion for design, the arts and philanthropy. For those of you reporting into one of my organizations, I am committed to working through all of the transition issues and assure you that The Tribe remains committed to the work you are doing and our purpose going forward.

If, at the next juncture, I decide to join a corporate tribe again, this place will definitely top my list. There are a lot of great companies out there doing terrific and meaningful work with better pizza, nicer décor and great implementations of “ls” on the desktops, but The Tribe? No one can touch our talent, our impact or our ambition. We’re the only high-tech company with the track record and self-confidence to reinvent ourselves as we have. If you want to change the world with technology, this is still the best tribe out there.

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 2 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.

Decide. Change. Reinvent.

source: All About Microsoft

Robbie Bach and J. Allard are officially leaving Microsoft, Steve Ballmer now in charge of E&D division

Big shake up in Microsoft’s Entertainment and Devices division today: President Robbie Bach And Chief Experience Officer J.Allard are officially leaving the company. According to Microsoft, Senior Vice President Don Mattrick will continue to lead the Interactive Entertainment Business and Senior Vice President Andy Lees will continue to lead the Mobile Communications Business. Each will report directly to CEO Steve Ballmer effective July 1. Big news here IMO and I got to give props to Steve Ballmer for the bold move. It’s a shame that Allard has to go (he will still assume an advisor role for the company) but Microsoft has to trim down the fat and focus on shipping competitive products in a timely fashion. The fact that Steve Ballmer will be directly involved with E&D signals the start of a new era for Microsoft: A Microsoft that is no longer an IT oriented business but also a consumer company. Read the full Email that Steve Ballmer sent to the trrops and Press release after the break:

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