Microsoft's highest paid senior exec to retire

Robbie Bach on his way out after 22 years

Following up on my previous post, it turns out Microsoft has just announced that Robbie Bach, president of its Entertainment and Devices Division, is going to retire from Microsoft this fall. 

A major shakeup was expected in Microsoft's mobile phone and consumer devices division in the wake of the canceled Courier tablet project and declining sales of mobile phones based on Microsoft's mobile operating system. 

Bach, who was responsible for the Zune, Xbox, and Windows phones, was Microsoft's highest-paid employee in 2009, earning $6.24 million, quite a bit more than the $1.27 million pulled in by CEO Steve Ballmer.

Microsoft issued a press release saying Bach will retire this fall after 22 years with the company. 

"For the past 22 years, Robbie has personified creativity, innovation and drive. With this spirit, he has led a division passionately devoted to making Microsoft successful in interactive entertainment and mobility," Ballmer said in the press release. "Robbie's an amazing business person and close personal friend, which makes his departure a point of sadness for me. However, given the strong leadership team he has built, the business performance of E&D this year and the launches of Windows Phone 7 and 'Project Natal' this fall, we are set up well for success as we continue to drive our mobile and entertainment businesses forward."

Microsoft Senior Vice President Don Mattrick will lead Microsoft's interactive entertainment business and Senior Vice President Andy Lees will lead the mobile communicatiosn business, with each reporting directly to Ballmer starting July 1. 

J Allard, another top executive in the Entertainment and Devices Division, will also leave Microsoft, but keep a limited role as a strategic advisor to Ballmer and Ballmer's leadership team.

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