Soon to be ex-Chief Product Officer Panos Panay is headed to Amazon, according to a Bloomberg report (paywalled) (via MSN). Panay is best known for his work with the Microsoft Surface lineup, although he’s been heading up Windows Experiences in recent years.
Amazon’s head of hardware products Dave Limp announced last month that he would be retiring by the end of the year, amid some of the same scaling back of hardware at Amazon that the Surface brand has experienced. Amazon’s Echo devices and it’s smart assistant Alexa have not performed up to expectations, as users don’t seem to have much interest in purchasing products via Alexa and Echo, instead using them to turn off lights and other mundane (and non revenue generating) tasks.
Amazon is holding its annual new devices event on Wednesday at its growing campus in Arlington, Virginia. The devices unit, which also makes Fire-branded television streaming sticks, tablets and the Kindle e-reader, was hit by layoffs last year as the company adjusted to slower growth and wound down some projects. Microsoft is also expected to show new hardware models, as well as artificial intelligence features, at an event in New York Thursday.
Panay was planning on heading up the Microsoft event, but is no longer expected to be there for Thursday’s event. Amazon will have a lot of work to do to catch up to Google, Microsoft, and OpenAI when it comes to generative AI, an area where Panay may seem opportunities, at least that’s the view from here. What do you think, will Panay be able to turn Amazon’s hardware portfolio around and produce in a way he wouldn’t be able to do at Microsoft?