Panos Panay, the former chief product officer at Microsoft, is leaving the company to join Amazon. Panay will lead Amazon’s division responsible for Alexa and Echo smart devices, replacing Dave Limp, who announced his retirement last month.
Panay is a well-known figure in the tech industry, and he is credited with playing a key role in the development of Windows 11 and the Microsoft Surface line of 2-in-1s and laptops. He is also known for his passionate and detailed product launch keynotes.
Panay’s move from Microsoft to Amazon is a bit of a surprise, as the two companies are rivals in many areas, including cloud computing, artificial intelligence, and smart speakers. However, it is also a sign that Amazon is serious about its smart home business.
Amazon is already the leader in the smart speaker market with its Alexa devices, and it is expanding into other areas of the smart home, such as security cameras and thermostats. Panay’s experience and expertise in developing successful hardware products could be a valuable asset to Amazon as it looks to expand its smart home footprint.
Panay’s replacement at Microsoft is Yusuf Mehdi, who will now head the company’s Windows and Surface teams. Mehdi is a veteran Microsoft employee, and he has held a variety of leadership roles at the company, including senior vice president of marketing and sales for the Windows and Devices Group.
Mehdi faces a number of challenges in his new role, including the need to revitalize the Windows business and to maintain Microsoft’s leadership in the Surface market. However, he is a well-respected leader with a deep understanding of the tech industry, and he is likely to be up to the task.
The move of Panay from Microsoft to Amazon is a significant event in the tech industry. It is a sign of the growing rivalry between the two companies, and it is also a sign that Amazon is serious about its smart home business. It will be interesting to see how Panay’s leadership impacts Amazon’s smart home division, and how Mehdi’s leadership impacts Microsoft’s Windows and Surface businesses.