Bryan Lee, one of the top executives on Microsoft's Zune project, "has decided to retire from Microsoft to pursue personal interests," the company said in a statement today. Robbie Bach, president of Microsoft's Entertainment and Devices Division, announced the news internally this morning. The company said J Allard, the other top executive on the initiative, "will take over full Zune responsibilities, including the business, development and marketing."
It's not an immediate departure. Microsoft says Lee will stay on for several more weeks, as a transition period.
Lee was the chief financial officer for Microsoft's Entertainment and Devices Division before overseeing the launch of Zune, Microsoft's bid to challenge Apple's dominant iPod. Zune sales paled in comparison to the iPod for the holidays, slipping in the rankings after the device's Nov. 14 debut.