The WSJ solidifies an intriguing post by Mary Jo Foley last week that J. Allard, the guy behind the Xbox, Zune and Courier - or more formally, the Chief Experience Officer and Chief Technology Officer of Microsoft's E&D division - is leaving after Steve Ballmer killed the Courier tablet project.
The WSJ says Allard is "is expected to leave that role" as part of "major organisational changes" at E&D, the division responsible for Xbox, Zune and Windows Phone (including Kin). E&D supposedly suffered cuts about a year and a half ago because of ballooning costs.
It's true, Microsoft is desperately behind in mobile phones. Windows Phone 7 won't ship until after iPhone 4.0 or Android 2.2 - maybe even Android 2.3. And even tablet computers (iPad, Android, HP's rumoured webOS tablet projects). But losing someone who's roundly acknowledged to be one of their most visionary executives - from a company who so desperately needs vision - doesn't seem like a good way to shake things up. At least from our twirly armchairs. [WSJ, ZDNet]