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Born James Allard, J Allard is the former Chief Experience Officer and Chief Technology Officer for the Entertainment and Devices Division at Microsoft. He is a 15-year veteran of Microsoft and previously oversaw the development of the Xbox and Zune media player. Allard has shipped over 30 products at Microsoft and helped shape their overall Internet strategy.
He has a Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science from Boston University, and was recognized in 2003 as a Distinguished Alumnus, the highest honor the school offers to its alumni. According to the rapidly expanding mythos surrounding the bald man at Microsoft, Allard is credited with "selling" Bill Gates on the concept of the internet in a memo in the mid-nineties.
He also represents one of the greatest image-makeover successes in the technology industries. Originally seen as a pretty standard corporate mouthpiece, his enthusiastic demeanor at press conferences and his absolute belief in the products he champions (internet, Xbox, Zune) has legitimized his presence in the videogaming community. J Allard was added to The Hollywood Reporter's "Top 35 Entertainment Execs Under 35" as well as Details' list of "The Most Powerful Men Under 38". He has also garnered some fame, particularly from the staff of Giant Bomb, for his appearance at Microsoft's E3 2005 press conference.
Steve Ballmer confirmed Allard's departure from Microsoft concurrent with Robbie Bach's retirement. In his press release Ballmer went on to say that Allard would still be connected with the corporation "helping incubation efforts, looking at design and UI, and providing a cross-company perspective on these and similar topics."
J Allard Trivia
- He used to be Peter Moore's on stage press show partner.
- He unveiled the 360 for the first time.
- He was in a nasty mountain bike accident before the Xbox 360's launch.
- Allard's head appears in Space Giraffe on a level appropriately named, "The Eyes of Allard".
- On Xbox Live, Allard's Gamertag is "HiroProtagonist".
- At Microsoft, his title was "Chief Experience Officer" (or CXO).
- He invites people to join him at "The Clymb" an event at register at this website: http://www.theclymb.com/invite-from/JAllard. He will be doing athletic activities races at this event.
- At his first job they made his ID Badge on an IBM Selectric typewriter.