Joe Belfiore, for many the face of Windows Phone, to retire

Kip Kniskern

What do you say about Joe Belfiore? For many, he was the “face of Windows Phone,” so much so that’s exactly what Tom Warren at the Verge called him even as I was writing the very same thing. Belfiore wore a number of hats over his 32 year tenure at Microsoft, leading efforts in Windows Phone, Office, Edge, Windows 10 and Windows 10 apps, OneNote, and even Sets.

Belfiore announced today that he’s leaving the company, set to retire next summer to focus on his kids:

Belfiore’s ride with Windows Phone wasn’t always smooth, and in 2011, he infamously took to Channel 9 to “laugh off” issues with a belated update to the phone OS and took a lot of heat for it, so much so that he felt the need to publicly apologize.

Still, Belfiore was a beloved front man for Windows Phone (a tough job, to be sure), and we wish him all the best with whatever comes next.