It’s official: Panos Panay, who led Microsoft’s efforts to transform into a hardware maker, will join Amazon to run its devices and services team.
Amazon CEO Andy Jassy on Wednesday confirmed the move, which had leaked earlier shortly after Panay said he was leaving Microsoft after 19 years. Panay will take the reins from Dave Limp, the longtime leader of the division who plans to leave the company later this year and join Jeff Bezos’s Blue Origin rocket company.
“As a strong product builder and inventor who has deep experience in both hardware and integrated services, Panos will be a great addition to our D&S organization moving forward,” Panay.
Panos was the man behind Microsoft’s transformation into a premium device maker with its Surface line, and Amazon is hoping he can work the same magic with its own family of products. Panos will have a lot to work with, as Amazon has grown its devices and services line beyond a single Echo speaker into a family of products, including eero Wi-Fi hubs, Blink and Ring cameras and a multitude of different Echo speakers and smart displays.
Jassey said Panos will join at the end of October, with Limp staying on for the next two months to help with the transition (Limp will join Blue Origin in December).
“I’ve known Panos for years, and believe he will be a great addition to this organization moving forward,” Limp said in the post. “He is a passionate product leader and I can’t wait to see what all of you invent together.”
Panos is joining a devices and services team that saw big layoffs earlier this year, with its Fall devices event last week focused on fewer big swings and experiments, and more on new iterations of established, successful products.
Both Amazon and Microsoft held their Fall devices events back to back last week, making for some funny timing as the Panos move played out on social media.