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Microsoft product chief Panos Panay is leaving the company

Microsoft product chief Panos Panay is leaving the company

Panos Panay, Microsoft’s chief product officer, talks about Windows 11 at the Windows 11 launch event that was streamed live on June 24, 2021.

Source: Microsoft

Microsoft’s product chief, Panos Panay, will leave the software and hardware maker, executive vice president Rajesh Jha told employees on Monday.

The shakeup represents a changing of the guard after more than a decade of sales of Microsoft’s Surface PCs, which Panay has presented to consumers at company events. Surface sales have failed to keep up with the growth of cloud services, and Windows, a source of profitable revenue, has yet to return to growth after the pandemic kicked off a buying frenzy.

But the company isn’t giving up on these two areas.

“We remain steadfast and convicted in our strategy and Yusuf Mehdi will take lead on our Windows and Surface businesses and products externally,” Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said in a statement. Mehdi, who joined Microsoft in 1992, is Microsoft’s consumer chief marketing officer.

As part of the changes, Charles Simonyi, who led the development of Microsoft’s popular Word and Excel applications, is joining the management teams for the Experiences and Devices group that Jha is is in charge of, Jha wrote in his memo to employees. Simonyi, now 75, rejoined Microsoft in 2017 as a technical fellow as the company acquired his startup Intentional Software.

“Our commitment to Surface and MR remains unchanged,” Jha wrote, referring to mixed reality, a category that includes Microsoft’s HoloLens augmented-reality devices.

Leadership changes involving Panos’ departure will take effect immediately, just three days before Microsoft holds an event in New York where the company is expected to announce its next generation of Surface devices.

After 10 years on the market, Surface had failed to gain more than a few percentage points of market share in PC shipments, although device designs have inspired other device makers that sell Windows machines. Microsoft picks up revenue from licenses sold to these device makers.

Panay joined Microsoft in 2004 as a group program manager on PC software. He took on additional leadership of Windows, the world’s leading PC operating system, starting in 2020. And since 2021, he has been part of the company’s senior leadership team. He has not yet announced his future plans.

“After 19 incredible years at Microsoft, I’ve decided to turn the page and write the next chapter,” he wrote on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter. “I’m forever…

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