Earlier this week it was announced that Bryan Lee, corporate vice president of Microsoft's entertainment and devices division, was going to take an early retirement.
Mr. Lee is 43.
Also probable is that Allard might have to work quickly to deliver a level of success for Zune, or he could find his position in jeopardy, noted John Challenger, chief executive of outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas.
"We're in a business culture where you have to show results on projects like Zune, or you're out," John Challenger, CEO of outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, told Elizabeth Millard of online news site NewsFactor. "It's like baseball managers changing the lineup to try and find the right combination."
Well, as baseball GMs do, let's look at the numbers. Zune completed the holiday season with about a 10 percent sales share. Plainly put, iPod is still cleaning Zune's clock. Given that nobody seemed to have been talking about the Zune since its debut, the lack of buzz and consequent lack of sales, didn't seem to help Mr. Lee's fortunes.
"Who retires at 43?" asked Challenger in his interview. "More likely, that's just a euphemism for Microsoft changing him out in an attempt to make shareholders happy and create a change for Zune."
But on the other hand, let's be fair. If I had several millions in stock options, was approaching a mid-life crisis, and lived in a metro area (Seattle) with great boating, maybe it'd be I that would chuck it for awhile, get a condo in the San Juans, and a yacht to go up and back there with.