We had already learned that Panos Panay is leaving Microsoft this week, but now we know where he’s heading. The industry veteran, instrumental in developing Windows 11 and the Microsoft Surface line of 2-in-1s and laptops, has reportedly been hired by Amazon, according to Bloomberg. Microsoft’s former chief product officer will lead Amazon’s division responsible for Alexa and Echo smart devices.
Panay will replace Dave Limp, the Amazon executive previously in charge of Alexa and Echo, who announced his retirement last month. Panay’s move from one Seattle-based tech giant to another will have him overseeing a division hit by layoffs last year. Ironically, Amazon and Microsoft each have fall hardware events scheduled this week.
Microsoft brought on Panay in 2004 as a group program manager. He oversaw the development of Surface devices during their formative years, where he became an event mainstay with his passionate and detailed product launch keynotes. He was promoted in 2018 to chief product officer before landing his last Microsoft position as executive vice president in 2021. Panay said he “decided to turn the page and write the next chapter.” Yusuf Mehdi will replace him as Microsoft’s head of Windows and Surface teams.
We reached out to Amazon for comment and confirmation, and we’ll update this article when we hear something.