Microsoft product lead Panos Panay promoted to senior leadership team

26 Aug 2021

Panos Panay. Image: Microsoft

Panay is a 17-year Microsoft veteran who has overseen the development of the Surface laptop series and Windows 11.

Microsoft’s chief product officer, Panos Panay, has been promoted to the role of executive VP and added to the company’s senior leadership team that directly advises CEO Satya Nadella.

He was promoted last year to lead Microsoft’s Windows and devices businesses and has been involved in the development of the company’s popular Surface laptops.

Panay, who has worked at the tech giant for 17 years, was announced as a new executive VP yesterday (25 August) in an internal email seen by Bloomberg.

This is the first time a Windows chief will be represented in Microsoft’s inner sanctum of senior leaders since the departure of Terry Myerson in 2018, when the company decided to focus its attention on cloud. Last month, the company announced its first cloud-based virtual PC service.

The last major appointment at Microsoft was when Nadella was unanimously voted as chair of the board while retaining the role of CEO – a dual position that only company founder Bill Gates has had in the past.

Panay joined Microsoft in 2004 as a group programme manager of PC hardware and quickly rose ranks to become corporate VP of PC hardware and Surface in 2013. In 2015, he was announced as the corporate VP of Microsoft devices and he became chief product officer of the company in 2018.

He is a familiar face in the world of Microsoft, often seen unveiling the company’s new Surface laptops and Windows products. He is also noted for his usage of the word “pumped” during launches.

In June, he introduced the new Windows 11 and said that it marked the beginning of a next generation of the world’s most widely used operating system.

Last year, he was also appointed to the board of directors of audio tech company Sonos for his background in hardware and software integration.

Vish Gain is a journalist with Silicon Republic