Readers like you help support XDA Developers. When you make a purchase using links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Read More.

Microsoft has announced that Panos Panay, leader of the Windows and Devices division at the company, is leaving, after spending nearly 20 years at Microsoft. He will be succeeded by Pavan Davuluri and others who will be taking on different responsibilities. Panos was responsible for developing and growing the Surface brand prior to also taking the reins of Windows itself.

In an email, Microsoft's Rajesh Jha announced that the leader behind the creation of the Surface brand would be leaving the company. Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, commented on the departure, saying:

“Thank you, Panos, for your 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. As Rajesh stated, we remain steadfast and convicted in our strategy and Yusuf Mehdi will take lead on our Windows and Surface businesses and products externally.”

If you care about Microsoft at all, you've probably heard of Panos Panay before. As mentioned above, Panay was the main figure behind the Surface brand, but also at the forefront of it. Almost every Surface announcement came with an emotional speech from the Surface leader illustrating how Microsoft's devices could have an impact on people's lives, and how pumped he was for people to try them. Some of the announcements were also huge surprises delivered in an excellent manner, as we highlighted when going through the history of Surface devices last year. The Surface Book reveal in particular, or that of the Surface Duo, were some of the highlights of Microsoft's history.

That enthusiasm eventually propelled Panos Panay to an even bigger role a few years ago, when he became leader of not just Microsoft's PC hardware, but also the software, as he took over the Windows and Devices Group within the company. Panay brought the same excitement to Windows, and played a big part in promoting Windows 11's features and apps, including through multiple teasers on Twitter (now X).

As for what's next, Microsoft has announced that Panos' many roles will be taken on by different people. Pavan Davuluri, Corporate Vice President of Windows Silicon and Systems Integration, will continue to oversee the development of experiences across Windows, client, and cloud devices, with many teams moving under his wing while remaining intact. Microsoft is also creating a new Windows and Web Experiences Team, with members such as Shilpa Ranganathan and Jeff Jonhson reporting to Mikhail Parakhin. Finally, Yusuf Mehdi will take on the role of managing the Windows and Surface businesses with OEM and retail partners.

Microsoft says it will double down on its commitment to Windows and Surface following this organizational change. However, it looks like won't be seeing Panos Panay at this week's Surface event, and that will certainly be missed.