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Panos Panay, leader of the Surface and Windows teams, is leaving Microsoft

Enlarge / Microsoft’s Surface Pro 9. Panos Panay has been in charge of the Surface line since its inception. (credit: Andrew Cunningham)

Microsoft’s Panos Panay, who has been in charge of the Surface hardware line for its entire existence and of Windows development since 2020, is leaving the company, according to a press release Microsoft sent out today. Panay’s duties on the Surface and Windows teams will be taken over by Consumer Chief Marketing Officer Yusuf Mehdi, who in the last year has been most visible as the face of most of the company’s big generative AI-related announcements.

“Thank you, Panos, for your impact on our products, culture, company, and industry over the past two decades. I’m grateful for your leadership, support, and all you’ve done for Microsoft and our customers and partners,” wrote Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella in a message that was shared with the press. “We remain steadfast and convicted in our strategy, and Yusuf Mehdi will take lead on our Windows and Surface businesses and products externally.”

If you’ve ever watched a Microsoft Surface announcement, you’ll know Panay from his emotional delivery, soulful eyes, and colorful shirts and by how genuinely he seemed to relish the opportunity to be telling you about what processors would be used in Microsoft’s next laptop. Panay joined Microsoft in 2004 and most recently was promoted to the company’s senior leadership team in 2021.

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