Windows CEO Panos Panay is abruptly leaving Microsoft after a
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Windows CEO Panos Panay is abruptly leaving Microsoft after a successful career of almost 20 years

It has been officially confirmed that Panos Panay is leaving Microsoft. He was chief product officer at Microsoft and led the development of Windows 11 and the company’s Surface lineup. Panay said that he “I decided to turn the page and write the next chapter.” The timing of the departure is troubling because just three days later, on September 21, Microsoft will broadcast a live event unveiling the new Surface products and showcasing AI in Windows and Bing.

    Image source: Associated Press

Image source: Associated Press

Panay joined Microsoft in 2004 as a group program manager, overseeing a range of premium products. After leading the development of the first line of Surface tablets and hybrid laptops, he was named the company’s chief product officer in 2018. His professional career continued in 2021 when he was named Executive Vice President following the successful launch of Windows 11 and eventually became part of Microsoft’s leadership team as Chief Product Officer, with a direct line to CEO Satya Nadella.

Microsoft is expected to hold an event this Thursday announcing new Surface devices and showcasing the latest artificial intelligence features in Windows and Bing. According to rumors, Microsoft is working on a version of Windows 12 with deep AI integration that could be released as early as 2024. It goes without saying that this is not a good time for the Windows development lead to retire.

Panay essentially became the face of the Surface brand, known for its desire to introduce new devices. His decision to leave seems surprising since Panay tweeted how he did back in August “upset” Opportunity to attend the upcoming Microsoft event on September 21st. Neither side gave a real reason for Panay’s departure.

    Image source: Panos Panay, ***

Image source: Panos Panay, Instagram

Microsoft announced that Yusuf Mehdi, Microsoft’s current corporate vice president of modern life, search and devices, will take Panay’s place as head of Windows and Surface.

Microsoft will appoint Mikhail Parakhin to lead the new Windows and Web Experience team alongside Shilpa Ranganathan. A separate team led by Pavan Davuluri, corporate vice president and engineer for Windows and devices, will do this “To develop chips, systems and devices that span Windows, client and cloud technologies for the world of AI.”

Rajesh Jha, vice president of experience and devices, wrote in an email to employees:After almost 20 years with the company, Panos Panay decided to leave Microsoft. He had an incredible influence on our products and our culture. Under his leadership, the team created the iconic Surface brand. The team has also delivered amazing services and experiences to hundreds of millions of people using Windows 11 on innovative devices. He will be missed and I am personally very grateful for his many contributions over the years. Please join me in wishing him all the best.”.

Satya Nadella joined Rajesh and said: “Thank you, Panos, for your impact on our products, our culture, our company and our industry over the last two decades. I am grateful for your leadership, support and everything you have done for Microsoft, our customers and partners.”

About the author

Robbie Elmers

Robbie Elmers is a staff writer for Tech News Space, covering software, applications and services.

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