Clifford Bleszinski has now said in his blog that he's done being the lead designer of Gears of War. Why? Well, the games pretty much complete, other than debugging and shipping. He wasn't fired, or 'let go'. He's just done with it. He also says in his blog that he can't confirm or deny if GoW has gone gold or not.
CliffyB, like a lot of Xbox 360 teams creating software has tried to stay as close to the community as possible. He's always been known to be real and he seems to try to leave the thinnest layer of bullshit as possible. People have really noticed, and most people who read what he says or watches videos of what his thoughts are seem to like him.