Panos Panay, leader of the Surface and Windows teams, is leaving Microsoft


Enlarge / Microsoft’s Floor Professional 9. Panos Panay has been in command of the Floor line since its inception.

Andrew Cunningham

Microsoft’s Panos Panay, who has been in command of the Floor {hardware} line for its total existence and of Home windows improvement since 2020, is leaving the corporate, in response to a press launch Microsoft despatched out in the present day. Panay’s duties on the Floor and Home windows groups can be taken over by Client Chief Advertising Officer Yusuf Mehdi, who within the final 12 months has been most seen because the face of many of the firm’s huge generative AI-related announcements.

“Thanks, Panos, to your influence on our merchandise, tradition, firm, and trade over the previous 20 years. I’m grateful to your management, help, and all you’ve executed for Microsoft and our prospects and companions,” wrote Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella in a message that was shared with the press. “We stay steadfast and convicted in our technique, and Yusuf Mehdi will take lead on our Home windows and Floor companies and merchandise externally.”

When you’ve ever watched a Microsoft Floor announcement, you may know Panay from his emotional supply, soulful eyes, and colourful shirts and by how genuinely he appeared to relish the chance to be telling you about what processors can be utilized in Microsoft’s subsequent laptop computer. Panay joined Microsoft in 2004 and most lately was promoted to the company’s senior leadership team in 2021.

Panay at the Surface Pro 3 announcement event in 2014.

Panay on the Floor Professional 3 announcement occasion in 2014.

Andrew Cunningham

Microsoft harassed that the shakeup in its government workforce would not have any near-term impact on any of its present merchandise, together with Floor and the corporate’s mixed-reality {hardware} efforts.

Whereas Mehdi “will tackle the duty of main the Home windows and Floor companies with our OEM and Retail companions,” writes Microsoft Government Vice President Rajesh Jha, different Microsoft veterans can even be stepping in to maintain the corporate’s {hardware} and software program companies working. Pavan Davuluri can be chargeable for a workforce that “construct[s] silicon, methods and units that span Home windows, shopper and cloud for an AI world” and also will, extra particularly, be chargeable for “Home windows planning and launch administration.” Mikhail Parakhin can be chargeable for a brand new “Home windows and Internet Experiences Group” that may “construct experiences that mix internet, companies and Home windows for an AI world.”

The timeline for Panay’s departure is unclear; his post on X, the positioning that most individuals name Twitter, means that he is departing instantly, although Jha’s press launch signifies that Panay helps the assorted groups transition to their new management. It is unclear whether or not Panay can be onstage for Microsoft’s subsequent Floor {hardware} occasion, which is slated to occur later this week on September 21.

Mehdi additionally has an extended historical past with Microsoft, beginning in 1992 advertising and marketing Home windows 3.1 and 95 earlier than main advertising and marketing for early (and massively influential) variations of Web Explorer. To the extent that Panay’s departure will speed up and intensify the drive to place new AI-powered options in Home windows 11 and future releases, the AI push at the moment looks like a company-wide mandate that’s greater than any particular person government.

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