REDMOND, Wash. — Panos Panay, a top product executive at Microsoft, is stepping down after nearly two decades at the company. In a staff memo on Monday, it was announced that Panay, who most recently served as chief product officer, will be leaving Microsoft.

During his tenure, Panay played a critical role in launching the iconic Surface brand and Windows 11. Under his leadership, the Surface line of computers gained popularity and became adored by consumers. Rajesh Jha, executive vice president of Microsoft's experiences and devices group, acknowledged Panay's contributions in the memo addressed to employees.

Yusuf Mehdi, another seasoned executive and the current chief marketing officer for consumer products, will assume responsibility for the Windows and Surface businesses and products. Jha shared that Panay will assist with the transition, ensuring a smooth handover.

Panay expressed his gratitude for his time at Microsoft in a social media post on X (formerly Twitter), stating, "After 19 incredible years at Microsoft, I've decided to turn the page and write the next chapter." While he did not disclose his future plans, Panay leaves behind a legacy of innovation and success.

Microsoft's venture into designing and selling its own line of high-end computers with the Surface devices initially surprised the industry. The first Surface tablet was unveiled in 2012 when the market was dominated by Apple's iPad. Despite being a software-focused company that primarily earned revenue from licensing its Windows operating system to other computer manufacturers, Microsoft's foray into hardware proved to be a strategic move. Today, Surface devices hold a notable position in the personal computer market, though their share remains relatively small compared to competitors.

While Panos Panay's departure marks the end of an era at Microsoft, the company is poised to continue its success under the leadership of experienced executives like Yusuf Mehdi. As Microsoft embarks on the next chapter, the future of its products and innovations remains promising.

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