J Allard's other half leaves Microsoft

When I spoke last month with Rebecca Norlander -- a high-profile Microsoft exec who had done stints in a variety of business units -- she was evaluating her next move inside the company. It turns out Norlander, like her husband J Allard, is leaving Microsoft.

When I spoke last month with Rebecca Norlander -- a high-profile Microsoft exec who had done stints in a variety of business units -- she was evaluating her next move inside the company.

But that was before it was announced officially that her husband, J Allard, of Xbox, Zune and Courier fame, was leaving Microsoft.

This week, I heard from one of my sources that Norlander subsequently had decided to leave Microsoft, as well. Turns out the rumor was true.

“We can confirm Rebecca Norlander has left the company. We are very grateful for all her contributions and leadership over the years and wish her well," a company spokesperson said, in response to my inquiry.

Just before resigning, Norlander was talking about new job possibilities with the Entertainment and Devices unit, among others divisions at Microsoft, she said. She also was having conversations with the SQL Server and Windows teams about potential opportunities.

Norlander, a 19-year Microsoft veteran, originally was a Software Design Engineer on the Excel/Office team. She stayed six years in that unit, then moved to Windows to become a Technical Product Manager. She worked for Windows for 11 years, working on the XP SP2, Internet Explorer, the Internet Platform and other groups/projects. In 2006, Norlander became Chief Software Architect Ray Ozzie’s Technical Assistant. In 2009, Norlander switched roles again and became a Partner Engineering Manager with Microsoft’s Online Advertising Platform, adCenter.

No word so far on what Norlander is planning to do next. Maybe she'll be doing "95 percent life and 5 percent Microsoft," (and a few bike races) like her husband....

Update: On the Courier front, as TechFlash's Todd Bishop noted earlier this week, Microsoft has obtained a patent for the dual-screen Courier-style design -- after the company axed plans to bring to market such a device. Allard was the leader of the Courier project, according to sources.

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