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Former Microsoft Product Chief Takes the Reins at Amazon’s Alexa, Echo Products Division

Former Microsoft Product Chief Takes the Reins at Amazon's Alexa, Echo Products Division
Panos will take up the new role at Amazon in October.

Panos Panay, former chief product officer at Microsoft, has taken the helm at Amazon.com as the head of its Devices & Services business. He will succeed Dave Limp, who stepped down in August and very recently appointed as chief executive officer of aerospace company Blue Origin.

Panos Panay, renowned for his role in shaping Microsoft’s Surface device strategy and product family, will now lead Amazon’s division responsible for its popular Alexa and Echo products. He will take up the new role next month, while Limp will continue working with him for the next couple of months for a smoother transition.

Panos has an association of more than 19 years with tech major Microsoft where he worked as general manager of Surface and PC Hardware and, over the year, climbed the ladder to serve as EVP and Chief Product Officer. “As a strong product builder and inventor who has deep experience in both hardware and integrated services, Panos will be a great addition to our D&S organization moving forward,” Amazon chief executive officer Andy Jassy said in a blog.

Dave Limp, the longtime Amazon hardware chief, recently announced his retirement from the company, setting the stage for Panay’s arrival. Limp’s background includes almost 14 years at Amazon, where he served as a senior vice president for various businesses. Calling Panos a “passionate leader”, Limp said to work with him for the next two months to ensure a smooth transition through the company’s fall launches and getting through their OP1 planning. After this, Limp will join space exploration company Blue Origin on December 4, replacing current chief executive officer Bob Smith.

Meanwhile, this change in top-level role at Amazon comes amid growing competition in the tech sector, particularly in the realm of smart devices and voice assistants. Talking about Amazon Alexa, it has faced significant challenges in terms of profitability, while the teams handling the voice assistant have faced layoffs and morale issues due to its struggles. Alexa has failed to generate significant revenue, contributing to its financial losses.

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