Microsoft Windows and Surface Chief Panay added to Senior Leadership Team

Microsoft's Chief Product Officer Panos Panay is now part of CEO Satya Nadella's inner circle of advisors, another signal that Microsoft is giving the Windows business more visibility and prominence (again).

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Credit: ZDNet

After not having a Windows representative on the senior leadership team (SLT) for the past few years, Microsoft has moved Chief Product Officer Panos Panay to the "inner circle" of CEO Satya Nadella advisors, according to an August 25 story by Bloomberg. Panay became both the head of Windows client and the head of the Surface business in February 2020.

During the past couple of years, Microsoft officials have been saying "Windows is back" and doing what they can to try to position Windows as a growing business of strategic importance to the company.

Rajesh Jha, who is the Executive Vice President of Experiences and Devices and Panay's boss, has been on the SLT for several years. But since former Windows chief Terry Myerson left the company in 2018, the Windows business has not had a leading figurehead with a lot of internal power and external visibility.

Microsoft's Senior Leaders website, which up until recently had listed all the Senior Leadership Team members, has been redone. Now, only a handful of execs are listed there, designated as "Executive Officers." That site no longer lists the other members of the inner circle/Senior Leadership Team, including Executive Vice President of Cloud and AI Scott Guthrie, Executive Vice President of Azure Jason Zander, Executive Vice President Jha, Chief Technology Officer Kevin Scott, Gaming Chief Phil Spencer and others.

Microsoft's new Executive Officers site lists Judson Althoff EVP and Chief Commercial Officer; Chris Capossela, Chief Marketing Officer and EVP of Marketing and Consumer Business; Kathleen Hogan, EVP and Chief Human Resources Officer; Amy Hood, EVP and Chief Financial Officer; Brad Smith, President; and Christopher Young, EVP of Business Development, Strategy and Ventures, but no other SLT members.

A Microsoft spokesperson, when I asked, told me: "Beginning this fiscal year (starting July 1), we streamlined our Executive Bios page to only include Executive Officers we have for SEC-reporting purposes, which are executives that head a corporate function aligned to what the law requires. The list includes the CEO and leaders of the Sales, HR, Finance, Legal, Marketing and BD (business development) functions."