Microsoft’s chief product officer, Panos Panay, who oversaw the creation of Windows and the Surface series, is leaving the company. Rajesh Jha, vice president of experience and devices at Microsoft, informed staff in an email on Monday that Panos Panay had decided to leave the company after nearly 20 years.
In 2004, Panay began working for Microsoft as a group programme manager. Panay joined the company’s chief product officer in 2018 after managing the Surface line and other significant products, where he oversaw the creation of Windows 11. Panay was elevated to executive vice president in 2021 and is now a member of the senior leadership group that gives Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella direct advice.
Panay expresses his decision to “write the next chapter” in a post on X (previously Twitter), adding that he is “forever grateful for my time at Microsoft and the amazing people I had the honour to make products with.” Panay is renowned for consistently being excited about new products and has established himself as one of Microsoft’s most prominent faces over the years.
The director of consumer marketing at Microsoft, Yusuf Mehdi, will “take on the responsibility of leading the Windows and Surface businesses with our OEM and retail partners.” The organisational change occurs as Microsoft intensifies the addition of AI features to Windows 11 and prepares for the rumoured release of Windows 12 early in the following year.
“Thank you, Panos, for your impact on our products, culture, company, and industry over the past two decades,” said Nadella in a statement. “I appreciate everything you’ve done for Microsoft, our clients, and partners, including your leadership, support, and hard work. We are still committed to our plan, as Rajesh said, and Yusuf Mehdi will be in charge of our external Windows and Surface businesses and products.