Microsoft product chief Panos Panay joins executive leadership team

The Microsoft veteran has been a key player in the development of the Surface range and Windows 11

Microsoft’s chief product officer Panos Panay, who oversees the development of its Windows and Devices businesses, has been promoted to executive vice president.

Panay, who has been at the company for 17 years, will also be a part of Microsoft’s senior leadership team which closely advises the firm’s CEO, Satya Nadella, according to Bloomberg. The announcement was made public by way of an internal email, seen by the publication.

His promotion will be seen as a show of faith in his work following a string of successful Microsoft products and overseeing the development of the core OS. The now-former chief product officer was part of the team that developed the original Microsoft Surface two-in-one enterprise device, which launched in 2012.

This successful line of hardware products has since been iterated upon over several generations, with spin-off devices including the Surface Laptop notebook and dual-screen Surface Duo smartphone since making it to the market.

Panay has also been a key player in the development of the upcoming Windows 11 operating system (OS), with the Microsoft veteran being front and centre of the company's marketing for the software. Panay has also shared various new feature updates over the last few weeks.

Most recently, on Twitter, Panay revealed a redesigned version of the Paint app, which Windows Insiders can begin testing soon.

He also recently outlined the introduction of ‘focus sessions’ with Windows 11, with users able to cut down on distractions by pairing their tasks with a Spotify playlist through an integration with the Clock application.

Windows 11 will be delivered to compatible devices as a free upgrade next year.

Panay's elevated status is also likely to encourage further investment and expansion of the Surface and Windows brands in the future. It’s likely to mirror the greater attention that the Xbox division received after its chief, Phil Spencer, was promoted the executive vice president for gaming in 2017.

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