Microsoft’s Surface and Windows chief Panay leaves for Amazon

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Panos Panay, the longtime head of Microsoft’s Surface hardware and the more recent head of the Windows operating system, is leaving the company for Amazon.

At Amazon, he will run the team that builds the Alexa voice assistant, Echo smart speakers, Kindle e-readers and Fire tablets and streaming sticks.

Panay announced his departure in a tweet saying that he had decided to “turn the page and write the next chapter” after 19 years at Microsoft. He thanked the company and its employees for their support over the years.

Panay’s departure comes just days before Microsoft is scheduled to unveil new Surface devices at an event in New York City. He had previously tweeted that he was “pumped” to be at the event, but he will no longer be attending.

In an email to employees, Microsoft executive vice president of experiences and devices Rajesh Jha said that Panay’s responsibilities will be split among several people. Yusuf Mehdi, corporate vice president and consumer chief marketing officer, will take on responsibility for leading the Windows and Surface businesses.

Other executives who will be affected by Panay’s departure include Mikhail Parakhin, who will lead a new “Windows and Web Experiences” team, and Pavan Davuluri, who will lead a team that will “Build silicon, systems and devices that span Windows, client and cloud for an AI world.”

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella thanked Panay for his contributions to the company in a statement. He said that Panay had an “incredible impact” on Microsoft’s products, culture, and industry.

The sources for this piece include articles in ITWorldCanada, TomsHardware, and Engadget.

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