Panos Panay, head of Windows and Devices, makes a surprise exit from Microsoft

After nearly two decades at the helm of Windows and Devices at Microsoft, Panay has announced that he's leaving the software giant.

1 minute & 24 seconds read time

Chief Product Officer for Windows and Devices at Microsoft, Panos Panay, just left the company in a rather surprising turn of events.

Panay announced his departure on X (formerly Twitter), noting that he is forever grateful for his time at Microsoft.

As you may be aware, he's been a stalwart at the company for a long time - almost two decades in fact - and an ever-present figure at a whole bunch of Windows and Surface launches throughout the years.

PC Gamer reports that Executive VP Rajesh Jha sent an internal memo to Microsoft staff members to explain:

"After nearly 20 years at the company, Panos Panay has decided to leave Microsoft. Panos has had an incredible impact on our products and culture and the broader devices ecosystem."

The timing does seem a little odd, given that Microsoft has big Surface launches coming later this week. So, it's not clear why Panay has revealed his departure now, rather than waiting until next week, after the dust has settled from the 'special event' taking place in New York (on September 21).

At any rate, Panay is now embarking on the next chapter in his career, though we don't yet know what that will be (whispers on the grapevine suggest a move to Amazon).

As for Microsoft's press event, we are expecting multiple Surface launches, likely including a new Surface Laptop Studio 2, a Surface Laptop Go 3, and a Surface Go 4. (If Zac Bowden of Windows Central fame is right, and the leaker usually has a pretty good handle on all things Microsoft).

We've also heard on the grapevine that the next big upgrade for Windows 11, the 23H2 update, will also get an initial airing (complete with Windows Copilot) at the event, which seems a likely prospect.

We'll know soon enough at any rate, as the event is only a couple of days away now, taking place this Thursday. Panay previously tweeted that he'll be at the event "talking AI innovation" (just a few weeks ago) but we're not so sure now...

Darren has written for numerous magazines and websites in the technology world for almost 30 years, including TechRadar, PC Gamer, Eurogamer, Computeractive, and many more. He worked on his first magazine (PC Home) long before Google and most of the rest of the web existed. In his spare time, he can be found gaming, going to the gym, and writing books (his debut novel – ‘I Know What You Did Last Supper’ – was published by Hachette UK in 2013).

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