Panos Panay Is Leaving Microsoft, Just Days Ahead of Their Surface Event

Panos Panay, on Twitter/X:

After 19 incredible years at Microsoft, I’ve decided to turn the page and write the next chapter. I’m forever grateful for my time at Microsoft and the amazing people I had the honor to make products with.

Emma Roth, reporting for The Verge:

Panay’s departure from Microsoft is somewhat abrupt. Just last month, Panay mentioned he was excited to appear at Microsoft’s special event that’s set to take place on Thursday, September 21st, where the company is poised to reveal the latest additions to its Surface lineup and “AI innovation.” However, Microsoft spokesperson Frank Shaw tells The Verge Panay will not appear at this week’s event.

The timing on this is so awkward, given that the Surface event — that Panay was presumably set to emcee — is just three days from now. Microsoft’s terse statement and Panos’s tone in the tweet make it seem acrimonious, but not scandalous.

And lo, Dina Bass and Matt Day report for Bloomberg: Inc. is hiring Microsoft Corp.’s product chief to run the division responsible for the voice-activated Alexa assistant and Echo smart speakers, according to people familiar with the situation. Panos Panay, an almost 20-year veteran who led Microsoft’s Windows team and was central to the company’s hardware push with its Surface computers, said Monday he’s leaving the technology giant.

Dave Limp, the longtime Amazon hardware chief, said last month that he would retire before the end of the year.

Jack Wellborn:

I have mixed opinions on Panos Panay.

Same here. Panos without question elevated Microsoft to be a major player in PC hardware, but looking back, I don’t see any of their devices as iconic. From the get-go, I always wondered how hamstrung the Surface was (and remains) by Microsoft’s need to maintain good relations with other PC OEMs.

Monday, 18 September 2023