Microsoft has a new Windows and Surface chief

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After the formation of Microsoft AI, the software giant has now appointed a new Surface and Windows chief.

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Microsoft is naming Pavan Davuluri as its new Windows and Surface chief today. After Panos Panay’s surprise departure to Amazon last year, Microsoft split up the Windows and Surface groups under two different leaders. Davuluri took over the Surface silicon and devices work, with Mikhail Parakhin leading a new team focused on Windows and web experiences. Now both Windows and Surface will be Davuluri’s responsibility, as Parakhin has “decided to explore new roles.”

The Verge has obtained an internal memo from Rajesh Jha, Microsoft’s head of experiences and devices, outlining the new Windows organization. Microsoft is now bringing together its Windows and devices teams once more. “This will enable us to take a holistic approach to building silicon, systems, experiences, and devices that span Windows client and cloud for this AI era,” explains Jha.

Davuluri joined AMD CEO Lisa Su onstage in December.

Davuluri joined AMD CEO Lisa Su onstage in December.

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Pavan Davuluri is now the leader of Microsoft’s Windows and Surface team, reporting directly to Rajesh Jha. Davuluri has worked at Microsoft for more than 23 years and was deeply involved in the company’s work with Qualcomm and AMD to create custom Surface processors.

Mikhail Parakhin will now report to Kevin Scott during a transition phase, but his future at Microsoft looks uncertain, and it’s likely those “new roles” will be outside the company. Parakhin had been working closely on Bing Chat before taking on the broader Windows engineering responsibilities and changes to Microsoft Edge.

The Windows shake-up comes just days after Google DeepMind co-founder and former Inflection AI CEO Mustafa Suleyman joined Microsoft as the CEO of a new AI team. Microsoft also hired a bunch of Inflection AI employees, including co-founder Karén Simonyan who is now the chief scientist of Microsoft AI. As a result, most of Inflection’s staff is joining Microsoft AI in what is being seen as a talent acquisition that carefully avoids direct regulatory scrutiny.

Suleyman is now the CEO of Microsoft AI, a new team that will handle the company’s consumer-facing AI products like Copilot, Bing, and Edge. Suleyman reports directly to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, and it looks like he was set to manage Mikhail Parakhin, but that’s no longer the case.

Jha says the Windows team will “work closely with the Microsoft AI team on AI, silicon, and experiences,” but there’s going to be some interesting areas of potential overlap that these new leaders are going to have to navigate. Microsoft AI now looks after Edge, a browser that’s a key part of the Windows experience.

Here’s Rajesh Jha’s memo in full:

I want to share an update on the Windows and Web Experiences (WWE) team following last week’s announcement and the creation of the Microsoft AI organization.

Mikhail Parakhin has decided to explore new roles. Satya and I are grateful for Mikhail’s contributions and leadership and want to thank him for all he has done to help Microsoft lead in the new AI wave. He will report to Kevin Scott while supporting the WWE transition.

As part of this change, we are bringing together the Windows Experiences and Windows + Devices teams as a core part of the Experiences + Devices (E+D) division. This will enable us to take a holistic approach to building silicon, systems, experiences, and devices that span Windows client and cloud for this AI era. Pavan Davuluri will lead this team and continue to report to me. Shilpa Ranganathan and Jeff Johnson and their teams will report directly to Pavan. The Windows team will continue to work closely with the Microsoft AI team on AI, silicon, and experiences. 

The Web Experiences team will report into Mustafa in the new Microsoft AI organization.

Jordi Ribas will lead Search, Maps, and Platforms with Andrey Proskurin, Fatima Kardar, and Nick Lee reporting to him.

Rukmini Iyer will lead Advertising with Paul Viola and Weiqing Tu reporting to her.

Mike Davidson continues to lead Design and will work with Pavan and team on how to realign Windows design.

Ali Akgun, Kya Sainsbury-Carter, Qi Zhang, and Rajesh Sundaram’s roles remain unchanged. They will join the Microsoft AI leadership team along with Jordi, Mike, and Rukmini, all reporting to Mustafa.

We are excited for this team to help Microsoft AI achieve its bold ambition to build world-class consumer AI products. And I very much look forward to closely partnering with Mustafa and the team as we bring our AI products, including Copilot, to the breadth of our E+D products and services.

Thanks,

Rajesh

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