Amazon will reportedly hire Microsoft’s departing Product Chief Panos Panay, mere hours after he left the company. Panay will be heading Amazon’s devices group, which is in charge of the Alexa voice assistant, Echo smart speakers, and Fire TV streaming services, Bloomberg first reported.
Panay announced he was leaving Microsoft in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter, writing: “After 19 incredible years at Microsoft, I’ve decided to turn the page and write the next chapter.” He added: “I’m forever grateful for my time at Microsoft and the amazing people I had the honor to make products with.”
The former Microsoft head will transition out of the company over the next few weeks before he takes over at Amazon. Panay will be replacing Dave Limp, Amazon’s head of hardware, who said last month that he was retiring by the end of the year.
Panay is bringing several decades’ worth of experience gained during his tenure at Microsoft which included overseeing the development of the line of Surface devices and heading the Microsoft Hardware Division. In 2018, Panay rose to chief product officer at Microsoft where he led the Windows 11 development.
“Panos has had an incredible impact on our products and culture as well as the broader devices ecosystem,” Rajesh Jha, EVP of Experiences + Devices Group at Microsoft said in an email to Gizmodo. Jha added: “He will be missed, and I am personally very grateful for his many contributions over the years.”
CEO Satya Nadella said in an emailed statement: “Thank you, Panos, for your impact on our products, culture, company, and industry over the past two decades.” He added: “I’m grateful for your leadership, support, and all you’ve done for Microsoft and our customers and partners.”
Panay’s experience working with PCs may have a positive impact on Amazon’s devices group where his predecessor, Dave Limp, laid off a number of employees last year, saying in a memo to staff that “some roles will no longer be required.” He added: “It pains me to have to deliver this news as we know we will lose talented Amazonians from the Devices & Services org as a result.”
Panay’s new position comes as both Microsoft and Amazon are scheduled to hold their annual new hardware events this week. Amazon is hosting its event at its Arlington, Virginia campus on Wednesday. The event is expected to showcase Amazon’s newest gadgets which will reportedly emphasize how generative AI will contribute to Alexa’s capabilities, Bloomberg reported.
Amazon did not immediately respond to Gizmodo’s request for comment.