Panos Panay, Microsoft’s chief product officer and head of Windows and Surface development, is leaving the company after 19 years. His departure comes at a critical time for Microsoft, as the company is preparing to launch new Surface products and is facing increasing competition from rivals such as Google and Apple.
Panay has not given a reason for his departure, but he said in a tweet that he has “decided to turn the page and write the next chapter.” It is unclear what his next move will be, but he is widely respected in the tech industry and is likely to have many options.
Panay joined Microsoft in 2004 and quickly rose through the ranks. He oversaw the development of the Surface line of tablets and hybrid laptops, which have been a major success for Microsoft. He was named chief product officer in 2018 and was promoted to executive vice president in 2021.
During his time at Microsoft, Panay has been a vocal advocate for new technologies such as artificial intelligence and mixed reality. He has also been credited with helping to make Microsoft’s products more user-friendly and design-focused.
Panay’s departure is a major loss for Microsoft. He is a charismatic and visionary leader who has played a key role in the company’s recent success. It remains to be seen who will replace him and how his departure will impact Microsoft’s product development efforts.
In the meantime, Microsoft has said that Yusuf Mehdi, the company’s current corporate vice president of modern life, search and devices, will take Panay’s place as the head of the Windows and Surface divisions. Mehdi is a seasoned executive who has been with Microsoft for over 20 years. However, he does not have the same level of experience in product development as Panay.
It is possible that Microsoft will split Panay’s roles into two positions, one for Windows development and one for Surface development. This would allow the company to hire executives with specific expertise in each area.
Another possibility is that Microsoft will appoint a new chief product officer who will oversee both Windows and Surface development. This would be a more centralized approach, but it would also be a risky one, as it would put a lot of pressure on one person.
It remains to be seen what Microsoft will do to replace Panay and how his departure will impact the company. However, it is clear that he is leaving behind a big legacy. He has helped to transform Microsoft into a more innovative and customer-focused company. His departure is a major loss, but it is also an opportunity for Microsoft to start a new chapter.