Microsoft Corp. said its chief product officer is leaving, a major departure for the company’s hardware and Windows divisions.
Rajesh Jha, executive vice president of experiences and devices, announced in an email to employees on Monday that Panos Panay will stay on long enough to help his successor transition into the role.
Panay has been with Microsoft since 2004 and is at the heart of the company’s hardware efforts, leading the Surface Computers division and, most recently, the Windows division. Pavan Davuluri has been appointed to oversee operating systems, devices and chips related to desktop clients, cloud and artificial intelligence. Jia said Yusuf Mahdi will work with computer manufacturers and retail partners.
“Thank you to Panos for his impact on our products, culture, company and industry over the past two decades,” CEO Satya Nadella said in a statement. He added, The company will “unswervingly execute our strategy.”
Panay was general manager of Surface when the original tablet, Microsoft’s first piece of computer hardware, was launched in 2012. Since then, he has led the expansion into laptops, desktops and accessories. The devices attracted comparisons to Apple due to the gorgeous launch and attention to detail and high-quality design.
Recently, Microsoft has shrunk its Surface business, laying off employees and cutting back on slow-selling products. The company’s HoloLens mixed reality goggles project, which Panay has overseen since 2022, has also been in trouble, in part because of delays in the U.S. Army contract.
Jha wrote in an email that the company’s “commitment” to Surface and the mixed reality business “remains unchanged.”
Davuluri, a 20-year Microsoft veteran, serves as vice president of Windows and Device Engineering, responsible for silicon and systems integration. Mehdi has worked at Microsoft for more than 30 years, first coming to prominence in the 1990s as the head of marketing campaigns for Internet Explorer. Most recently, he held roles at Xbox, Windows, and Bing.