Microsoft promotes Windows and Surface chief Panos Panay to Senior Leadership Team

Microsoft promotes Windows and Surface chief Panos Panay to Senior Leadership Team

For Microsoft fans, Panos Panay is a familiar face. He’s been the star of every Surface announcement from the beginning, and after leading the devices team for years, he went on to be in charge of Windows as well in February 2020. Now, he’s being added to the Senior Leadership Team (SLT), as spotted by Bloomberg, and it’s actually a very big deal.

You can think of the SLT as CEO Satya Nadella’s inner circle, made up of various executives from different branches of the company. It’s one of the highest ranks that someone can obtain at Microsoft, and it took Panos Panay 17 years to get there.

What’s even more significant is that this is the first time that the head of Windows has had a spot on the Senior Leadership Team since Terry Myerson left the company in 2018. In fact, you can do the math on that. Myerson left in 2018, and Panos Panay took over Windows in 2020, so there was a period where there wasn’t even a real face of Windows. For fans of the platform, it sure didn’t look like the firm cared about it anymore.

But with Panay at the head of Windows, he’s been leading a charge to reinvigorate the platform, taking the opportunity from the fact that so many people are currently working from home, therefore using Windows. Suddenly, the operating system is once again a big priority.

Panos Panay joins gaming chief Phil Spencer on the SLT, as well as Rajesh Jha, who is in charge of Experiences and Devices (basically the guy that Panay answers to). Microsoft actually doesn’t list the entire SLT on its website anymore, but other members include Chief Marketing Officer Chris Capossela, Chief Financial Officer Amy Hood, President Brad Smith, Azure chief Jason Zander, Cloud and AI chief Scott Guthrie, and more.

While Panos Panay has been promising to put Windows back on the map since he took the job in early 2020, this is a big move. Because while Panay is pushing the platform for the rest of the world, this is a sign that it’s back on the map inside of Microsoft.

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Rich Woods
Rich Woods

Managing Editor for XDA Computing. I've been covering tech from smartphones to PCs since 2013. If you see me at a trade show, come say hi and let me ask you weird questions about why you use the tech you use.