Microsoft’s product boss Panos Panay will move to the online retailer Amazon. There he will be in charge of the extensive equipment division. The US news agency Bloomberg reported this on Monday.
Accordingly, the former Windows and Surface boss Panay announced his departure from Microsoft on Monday. As part of a transition process, he will remain at Microsoft for a few more weeks, Bloomberg said, before moving to Amazon, but will no longer appear publicly for Microsoft.
Panay was instrumental in the development of Microsoft’s Surface devices and played a large part in their success. With the release of Windows 8, which relied on touch operation, Microsoft developed its own touch-based hardware. Panay has been the face of Surface since its launch in 2012, regularly showcasing the latest versions at Microsoft events.
The technology company announced Panay’s departure via email on Monday, CBS affiliate CNET reports. Microsoft thanked the now former product boss for his “influence on our products, our culture, our company and our industry over the last two decades.” Panay, in turn, thanked him in a tweet on Xformerly Twitter, for “19 incredible years at Microsoft.”
Next chapter: Amazon?
Although Panay has not yet announced where he will work next, his path leads to Amazon, according to Bloomberg. There, Paney would succeed Dave Limp, the outgoing head of the company’s equipment division. Limp announced in August that he would be leaving the company in the next few months after 13 years at Amazon.
The equipment division led by Limp had been affected by job cuts in the previous months, which affected around 27,000 jobs across the group. But his departure may have other reasons. Limp wrote that after working with consumer electronics for more than 30 years, he wanted to look at the future through a different lens.
Big shoes for Panay. Amazon’s device division initially grew big with Kindle readers for e-books. Limp was followed by tablets, streaming boxes and the most well-known Amazon devices: the Echo speakers with Alexa on board. The company followed the principle of selling technology at the production price if possible, in the hope of making more money with services. The various models of Echo speakers sold millions of times. However, Alexa’s capabilities have recently been overshadowed by AI chatbots like ChatGPT, which gave the impression that they could formulate sentences more easily.
According to Bloomberg, Panay will lead Amazon’s Alexa and Echo products division. However, there is no job title yet. Neither Amazon nor Microsoft wanted to comment on the Bloomberg report.
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