Microsoft has a storied history of losing some of its biggest and most recognizable Xbox executives, the suits who manned the company's E3 and CES keynotes. Today, two more names joined that growing list, Robbie Bach and J Allard.
They're not the only ones to move on from the Xbox division over the past eight years. These are the men who helped bring the Xbox and Xbox 360 to prominence... and then bailed.
(Top row, from left to right)
Seamus Blackley, former Chief Technology Officer
Why: Blackley says he left Microsoft to co-found Capital Entertainment Group with former Microsoft co-worker and original Xbox team leader/early quitter Kevin Bachus. CEG folded in 2004 after failing to produce a single game.
Where he is now: Blackley works as an agent with Creative Artists Agency representing video game creators.
Peter Moore, former Corporate VP of Microsoft's Interactive Entertainment Business
Quit: July 2007
Why: "Personal reasons," according to a Microsoft press release. Moore's role was filled by Don Mattrick, former Electronic Arts man.
Where he is now: Moore is now president of EA Sports.
Richard Teversham, former Xbox strategy boss
Quit: April 2009
Why: To "[take] a new opportunity outside of Microsoft," at Apple.
Where he is now: At Apple, working on iPhone games in Europe.
John Schappert, former Corporate VP of Xbox Live software and services
Quit: June 2009
Why: He missed his former employer, Electronic Arts. "After nearly two decades working in or around this company, I've got EA in my blood," he said.
Where he is now: Schappert has returned to his former No. 2 post at Electronic Arts.
(Bottom row, from left to right)
Shane Kim, former Corporate VP of Microsoft Game Studios/Corporate VP of strategy and business development for the Interactive Entertainment Business
Quit: September 2009
Why: He wanted to spend more time with family. Phil Spencer was promoted to fill his position.
Where he is now: Probably playing Resident Evil 5. Kim is retired.
Robbie Bach, former President, Entertainment & Devices Division
Why: He's retiring.
Where he is now: Probably still cleaning out his office.
J Allard, former Chief Experience Officer and Chief Technology Officer, Entertainment and Devices Division
Why: To "shift to 95% life and 5% MSFT" and continue to do cool stuff. (And maybe because Microsoft axed the Courier tablet project.)
Where he is now: Allard will continue to work with Microsoft in "an official role as an advisor in a strategic role for [Microsoft CEO Steve] Ballmer and his leadership team." He'll also be racing, help a few start ups and "put some energy into [his] passion for design, the arts and philanthropy."
Ed Fries, former VP of Microsoft Game Studios, aided in Microsoft's acquisition of Rare, Bungie and Ensemble
Quit: January 2004
Why: It was time.
Where he is now: FigurePrints, maker of custom World of Warcraft figures. He's also an advisor or board member for about a dozen companies.
Who's next? In this chain of sudden quits, have we really seen the last of it?