Earlier last week, Panos Panay, the former chief product officer at Microsoft, announced that he was leaving the company. However, details of his next destination were not revealed until Bloomberg reported that the head of the company’s software and hardware division was moving to chief rival Amazon where he would oversee the division responsible for its Alexa and Echo smart devices.
The tech veteran, who was instrumental in rejuvenating Microsoft, played a key role in the development of the Windows 11 operating system and the company’s Surface 2-in-1 laptop/tablet computers, both of which have been phenomenal successes.
Microsoft’s Windows And Surface Head Leaves For Amazon
Panay, who has been a familiar figure seen at Microsoft’s annual Surface launch events, confirmed that he will not be making an appearance at the upcoming event on Thursday, 21st September. The CPO will remain at the company for two more weeks as part of a transition process before joining Amazon.
He started life at Microsoft in 2004 as a group program manager, where he oversaw the development of Windows Vista, 7, 8, 10, and 11, and the Surface tablet and laptops. In 2018, he was promoted to chief product officer and three years later as the company’s executive vice president.
During his time heading Microsoft’s Surface program, Panay became a mainstay at the company’s product launch events, where he displayed real passion for the devices through his detailed keynote speeches.
Panay Will Oversee The Development Of Alexa And Echo Devices At Amazon
Panay will be taking over the position of Dave Limp, who was the Amazon executive previously at the helm of Alexa and Echo. Last month, the senior vice president of the Seattle-headquartered company announced he would be bringing the curtain down on his professional career after 13 years of service.
He will bow out at Amazon’s Devices and Services event on September 20 where the tech giant is expected to unveil its latest hardware.
Panay is now responsible for Amazon’s most underperforming division for the past several years, which also saw major layoffs. Last November, Amazon’s Devices and Services org announced it would be cutting 10,000 jobs as part of “making adjustments” given “the current macro-economic environment” and years of rapid hiring.
2022 saw major tech players lay off a large number of their staff. In its first-ever mass layoff, Meta (formerly known as Facebook) cut 11,000 jobs, while social media giant Twitter (now called X) laid off about half of its staff and terminated thousands of contractor jobs.
Amazon is currently working on expanding its hardware lineup to include robots and home surveillance drones. The Seatle-based tech giant is awaiting approval from regulators regarding its deal to purchase Roomba robot vacuum manufacturer iRobot. The company valued at $1.7 billion will be acquired by Amazon for $61 per share in an all-cash transaction.
Once the deal is green-lit, customers will have a vast range of Amazon smart hardware designed for households to choose from including Echo smart speakers, Ring doorbells, and service robots that will all be anchored by the company’s bespoke voice assistant, Alexa.
In a statement declaring his resignation, Panay said that he has “decided to turn the page and write the next chapter” in his career. Yusuf Mehdi, who is the current corporate vice president of Modern Life and Devices Group of Microsoft Corporation, will replace him as the head of Windows and Surface teams.