This week it was announced that Panos Panay, the chief product officer who led the development of Windows 11 and Surface devices, has left the company after a successful 20-year career at Microsoft. Now network sources write that Mr. Panay has decided to resign due to the reduction of staff and budget, the cancellation of the launch of a number of products in his division, and also amid discussions about the need to reorganize the division under his control.
Microsoft veteran Panos Panay announced his departure from the company just days before the event, which unveiled the new Surface devices to the general public. He is expected to take over from the retiring Dave Limp, vice president of services and devices at Amazon, who is also responsible for the Alexa voice assistant and Echo smart speakers. Official representatives of Microsoft and Amazon have so far refrained from commenting on this issue.
Panay’s departure was unexpected. According to unnamed knowledgeable sources, he was dissatisfied with recent changes in his division and had long considered the possibility of moving to Amazon. In particular, the financial results of the division controlled by Panay turned out to be worse than expected, to which management responded by sharply reducing its staff. Amid a wave of layoffs, the launch of some Surface devices that helped propel Panay’s career, such as the next-generation Surface headphones, was canceled.
Microsoft management’s new plan for the Panay unit is to focus on developing popular products rather than pursuing the experimental projects that the company supported in its heyday. It is also noted that Panay recently discussed with management the restructuring of his division, which would help him expand his own authority, but Microsoft ultimately decided against it.
According to sources, Panay was a demanding leader who always strives to achieve the best results and pays close attention to detail. Despite his demanding nature, Panay was popular at Microsoft and managed to build a team around him whose members worked with him for more than ten years, which is one of the signs of a good leader.
According to the source, Panay’s departure to Amazon is not a big surprise, since he is most passionate about the development of consumer products. Some Surface devices have achieved considerable success with it, but they are still facing competition in the PC market. Amazon is releasing more popular consumer devices, including those equipped with the Alexa voice assistant and smart home devices. However, Amazon’s devices division is also facing its fair share of challenges, and at this point it’s hard to say how seamlessly Panos Panay will fit into it.
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