Panos Panay, the chief architect of Microsoft’s Surface device strategy and product family, may be moving to another tech giant.
Panay, who earlier on Monday announced he was leaving Microsoft, where he served as chief product officer, is heading to Amazon to serve a similar role, according to Bloomberg, citing anonymous sources. This comes after Panay tweeted that he was leaving Microsoft after 19 years.
Amazon couldn’t immediately be reached for comment, while Microsoft declined to comment.
The departure comes at an awkward time. Panay was expected to be the face of Microsoft’s product showcase on Thursday. Amazon has its own devices event a day earlier. The fall season tends to be filled with big device announcements — Apple’s came last week — since companies want consumers to know about their products ahead of the critical holiday shopping season.
Panay helped solidify Microsoft’s reputation as a premiere hardware maker with a line of premium Surface laptops, tablets and more. He also helped Microsoft walk that fine line as both a hardware maker and a company that supplies the underlying software powering the PCs, laptops and tablets of its consumer electronic partners like Lenovo, Dell and Samsung.
Amazon is likely hoping to see a similar impact from Panay, who is famously passionate and expressive at product events. While the company has made a huge impact with its Echo speakers and growing family of products, from Ring cameras to its Astro home security robot, it faces a competitive environment with similar products offered by Google and an array of other companies.
Check back with Cord Cutters News on Wednesday and Thursday for updates on both Amazon and Microsoft’s product events.