Microsoft product chief Panos Panay steps down


What just happened? Microsoft Chief Product Officer Panos Panay is calling it quits after nearly 20 years with the company. Panay hasn’t commented on what his next chapter will look like or when it might get started, but we know it won’t be with Redmond.

According to his LinkedIn profile, Panay joined Microsoft in April 2004 as a group program manager for their PC hardware division. In 2013, he was promoted to corporate vice president of Surface and PC hardware before becoming chief product officer in April 2018. He’s long been a public face of the company and is often featured as a presenter during new product announcements.

The Verge obtained an email from Rajesh Jha, Microsoft EVP of experiences and devices, that was sent to employees regarding Panay’s departure. Jha had nothing but positive things to say about Panay, noting how they created the Surface brand under his leadership.

Panay also addressed the matter on X (formerly Twitter), noting that he has decided to turn the page and write the next chapter. Panay added that he is forever grateful for his time at Microsoft and the people he had the honor to make products with.

Jha said the changes will be immediate, but that Panay will help with the transition. Replacing him will be Yusuf Mehdi, who most recently served as Microsoft’ consumer chief marketing officer. The shuffle will impact several other leadership roles as well, which Jha outlined in his email to employees.

Microsoft is set to host a media event in New York City later this week on September 21 to discuss AI innovations and new Surface devices. In an X post late last month, Panay said he was pumped for the event but it is now unclear if he will be on hand to help Microsoft showcase its latest products.

Panay will also miss the public unveiling of Windows 12, which could happen as soon as 2024. Nothing official has come down the pipe about Windows 12 yet but most expect it to feature a heavy dose of AI-powered features.


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