A tipster says that Allard met with Skype CEO Tony Bates this week at the company’s headquarters in Palo Alto. Apparently, the company is anxious to hire a new chief of engineering ahead of its planned IPO later this year.
The job would be a better fit for Allard than it might seem at first glance. Although best known as the public face of the Xbox, Allard was one of the first people at Microsoft to understand the significance of the Internet, way back in 1992, and one of his main contributions to the Xbox was overseeing the development of Xbox Live — which, like Skype, connects tens of millions of users with voice chat. Allard left Microsoft in May 2010 as part of a big shakeup that also removed his boss, Robbie Bach.
Another ex-Microsoftie, David Gurle, leads Skype’s efforts to sell to businesses. Gurle played a big part in Microsoft’s early corporate instant messaging and voice-over-IP products, which later became Communications Server and Lync.
Skype could certainly use the help — the service was down for more than 24 hours before Christmas last year.