Microsoft says product chief Panay to leave, report says headed to Amazon

FILE PHOTO: A Microsoft logo is seen in Issy-les-Moulineaux near Paris

By Stephen Nellis

(Reuters) -Microsoft's Yusuf Mehdi, who oversees its consumer marketing efforts, is taking over the firm's Surface and Windows businesses with the external PC makers and retail partners, as longtime product chief Panos Panay steps down.

Bloomberg reported that Panay is being hired by to run the unit responsible for the firm's Alexa and Echo products, replacing David Limp, the unit's current chief who has said he plans to retire this year.

Microsoft declined to comment on the Bloomberg report, and Amazon did not respond to a request for comment.

Panay stepped down after nearly 20 years with Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft, where he helmed the creation of the Surface line of computers and more recently oversaw the launch of the Windows 11 operating system.

In a statement, Microsoft Chief Executive Satya Nadella thanked Panay for his "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."

Microsoft also said that Pavan Davuluri will lead a hardware engineering team that includes Microsoft's efforts to develop its own chips, according to a staff email on Monday by Rajesh Jha, executive vice president of experiences and devices group at Microsoft. Reuters has seen a copy of the email.

Microsoft has made big bets on generative AI, integrating the technology into a wide array of its products, including cloud, search and productivity software and services such as its Office suite.

The company is hosting a "special event" on Sept. 21, where it is expected to announce updates to its Surface lineup, among other updates.

(Reporting by Yuvraj Malik in Bengaluru and Stephen Nellis in San Francisco; Editing by Anil D'Silva and Nick Zieminski)