Panos Panay, Windows’ chief product officer who also led the company’s Surface devices, announced on Monday that he is leaving Microsoft after “19 incredible years.” This significant departure will see Yusuf Mehdi, Microsoft’s corporate vice president of modern life, search, and devices, stepping in to take charge of the Windows and Surface businesses.

Panos Panay began his journey with Microsoft in 2004 as a group program manager and steadily climbed the ranks, eventually becoming the company’s chief product officer in 2018. During his tenure, he played a pivotal role in the development of Windows 11, a major milestone for the company.

In 2021, Panos Panay was further recognized for his contributions when he was promoted to the position of executive vice president, placing him in the top leadership team under Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella.

Announcing his departure, Panay shared, “I’ve decided to turn the page and write the next chapter. I’m forever grateful for my time at Microsoft and the amazing people I had the honor to make products with.”

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella expressed his gratitude, saying, “Thank you, Panos, for your impact on our products, culture, company, and industry over the past two decades.”

In an internal email to Microsoft employees, Rajesh Jha, Microsoft’s vice president of experience and devices, confirmed Panay’s decision to leave the company. He praised Panos Panay’s leadership and contributions, particularly during his tenure as the leader of Windows.

Jha said, “More recently, as the leader of Windows, the team under Panay brought amazing services and experiences to hundreds of millions with Windows 11 on innovative devices, including those from our OEM partners.”

Looking ahead, Jha emphasized the company’s commitment to its strategy, and he noted that the leadership transition would be effective immediately with Panos Panay’s assistance. He also expressed his personal gratitude for Panay’s many contributions over the years.

This significant development in Microsoft’s leadership marks the end of an era and signals a new chapter for the Windows and Surface businesses.

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