Microsoft is facing a significant transition as Panos Panay, the company’s Chief Product Officer, is set to depart, a Bloomberg report says. The decision is a significant departure for the company’s hardware and Windows divisions.
Rajesh Jha, Executive Vice President of the Experiences and Devices Group, shared the news of Panay’s departure in an email to Microsoft employees on Monday. Panay will remain with the company temporarily to facilitate a smooth transition for his successor.
Panos Panay has played a pivotal role at the tech behemoth since 2004, with a primary focus on the company’s hardware initiatives. He led the Surface computer division and, more recently, the Windows unit.
As he steps down, Pavan Davuluri will assume responsibility for overseeing operating systems, devices, and chips related to desktop clients, cloud computing, and artificial intelligence. According to Jha’s announcement, Yusuf Mehdi will take on responsibilities related to computer manufacturers and retail partnerships.
Microsoft’s Chief Executive Officer, Satya Nadella, expressed his gratitude to Panos, acknowledging his significant impact on the company’s products, culture, and industry during his two-decade tenure at Microsoft.
“Thank you, Panos, for your impact on our products, culture, company, and industry over the past two decades,” Chief Executive Officer Satya Nadella said in a statement, adding that the company will “remain steadfast and convicted in our strategy.”
Key highlights of Panay’s time at Microsoft
Panay’s journey began when he served as the general manager for Surface, coinciding with the launch of Microsoft’s initial tablets in 2012. Over the years, he spearheaded the expansion of the Surface product line to include laptops, desktops, and various accessories. Under his leadership, these devices garnered comparisons to Apple for their glitzy launch events, meticulous attention to detail, and high-quality design.
However, the company recently made adjustments to its Surface operations, including workforce reductions and discontinuing slow-selling products. The company’s HoloLens mixed-reality goggles project, overseen by Panay since 2022, faced challenges, including delays related to a U.S. Army contract.
Despite these developments, Rajesh Jha emphasised in his email that Microsoft’s dedication to the Surface product line and the mixed-reality business remains unchanged.
The company’s “commitment” to Surface and the mixed-reality business “remains unchanged,” Jha wrote in his email.
Pavan Davuluri, a 20-year veteran with experience in silicon and systems integration, will play a vital role in this continuity. Yusuf Mehdi, with over 30 years at Microsoft and a history of leadership roles in marketing campaigns, including for Internet Explorer, will further contribute to Microsoft’s future endeavours.
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