Monday, executive vice president Rajesh Jha informed employees that Microsoft’s product chief, Panos Panay, will depart the software and hardware maker.
After more than a decade of sales of Microsoft’s Surface PCs, which Panay has presented to consumers at company events, the reorganization represents a change in leadership. Surface sales have not kept pace with the expansion of cloud services, and Windows, a source of profitable revenue, has not returned to growth since the pandemic sparked a buying spree.
However, the corporation is not abandoning these two areas.
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said in a statement, “We remain steadfast and confident in our strategy, and Yusuf Mehdi will lead our Windows and Surface businesses and products externally.” Mehdi, who joined Microsoft in 1992, is the company’s chief marketing officer for consumers.
Jha wrote in a memo to employees that Charles Simonyi, who oversaw the development of Microsoft’s popular Word and Excel applications, will join the Experiences and Devices group’s management team. Simonyi, who is now 75 years old, rejoined Microsoft in 2017 as a technical fellow after the firm acquired his startup, under development Intentionalalle Software.
“Our commitment to Surface and MR remains unchanged,” wrote Jha, referring to the category of mixed reality, which includes Microsoft’s HoloLens augmented-reality devices.
Changes in leadership involving Panos’s departure will take effect immediately, just three days before Microsoft hosts an event in New York at which the company is expected to unveil the next iteration of Surface devices.
Surface had failed to acquire more than a few percentage points of market share in PC shipments after ten years on the market, although device designs have inspired other device manufacturers that sell Windows machines. Microsoft generates revenue from the sale of licenses to these device manufacturers.
In 2004, Panos Panay became a group program manager for PC software at Microsoft. Beginning in 2020, he assumed additional responsibility for Windows, the leading PC operating system in the globe. He has been a member of the company’s senior leadership staff since 2021. He has yet to reveal his future intentions.
“After 19 incredible years at Microsoft, I’ve decided to turn the page and write the next chapter,” Panos Panay wrote on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter. “I’m forever grateful for my time at Microsoft and the amazing people I had the honor to make products with.”