J Allard, the most iconic founding father of the Xbox, is leaving Microsoft after 22 years of faithful service. As VP of design for Microsoft’s “Entertainment and Devices” division, Allard has had a hand in many of the company’s most recognizable hardware products: In addition to both Xbox consoles, Allard helped design the Zune and the upcoming Kin smartphone.
The situation surrounding Allard’s transition is shrouded in rumor, with little concrete information being made public. Rumors that Allard would be leaving the company started surfacing after Microsoft cancelled development on his last project, the “Courier” tablet. Allard did tell Seattle-based tech site TechFlash that he does not plan to run to one of the Microsoft’s major tech or gaming rivals, such as Apple or Google. Allard also said that his decision to leave was not based on either the “Courier” cancellation or the news that his friend and co-worker, Microsoft “Entertainment and Devices” president Robert Bach, is also planning to leave the company.