In the latest edition of high-tech musical chairs, longtime Microsoft chief product officer, Panos Panay is leaving the company and is reportedly headed across town to Amazon.
Panay’s best-known contribution to Microsoft was the creation of the Microsoft Surface line of laptops.
In 2012, Microsoft had not historically been in the hardware game preferring to sell software through third-party OEMs.
But under Panay’s leadership, the company launched its first hybrid pc-tablet to much fanfare.
Since that time the Surface has become a suite of products with 10 different types available.
In 2021, Panay also oversaw the latest update of its software platform which became Windows 11.
Panay is well-known for his dynamic product launches at Microsoft events and his creative take on products.
The speculation that he is heading to Amazon raises some interesting questions about where the company sees its technology product future.
Amazon has seen a number of long-time, high-profile departures following Jeff Bezos turning over the reins of the company to CEO Andy Jassy.
Jassy has battled through many difficult situations including taking over in the middle of a pandemic, dealing with a historic plummet in stock price, and overseeing the layoff of 10,000 workers.
Many of Bezos’s leadership team have either left for other opportunities or have retired.
The latest departure came just last month with the departure of David Limp, who served as Amazon’s SVP of devices.
Limp oversaw Amazon’s Kindle, Echo, and FireTV devices and was well-known at Amazon launch events.
This departure opens a natural role for Panay to step into, bringing energy and an outsider’s point of view to take Amazon products into the next generation.