The 25 Most Influential People at Microsoft - 8. J Allard
8. J Allard, Corporate Vice President, Design and Development, Entertainment and Devices Division
Allard is Microsoft's rising rock star--he's transformed from geek to cool geek. While best known for Zune, Allard's responsibilities and influence are much broader. His challenges are equally broad, as he seeks to make more Microsoft products cool.
Among Microsoft's 70,000-plus employees, there are many influential people. Twenty-five is too small a number to capture the best of the best among a large group of creative people. But Microsoft corporate culture also is very staid and insular, with a top-heavy power structure. Therefore, for this list, I focused more on operational influencers, although there are some thought leaders included. By Joe Wilcox, Microsoft Watch