Panos Panay
Panay had worked for Microsoft for nearly 20 years. Image Credit: AP Inc. lured away longtime Microsoft Corp. executive Panos Panay to head the company’s devices and services business.

The announcement on Wednesday confirms an earlier Bloomberg report, and follows Panay’s note to employees earlier this month announcing his surprise resignation from the company where he’d worked for nearly 20 years. He most recently was Microsoft’s chief product officer, overseeing Windows as well as the company’s hardware teams. Earlier, he was integral to the development of the Redmond, Washington company’s Surface computer line.

Panay will start at Amazon at the end of October, CEO Andy Jassy said in the statement. He’ll work with outgoing head of the division, Dave Limp, who told employees last month that he’d be retiring from the company before the end of the year. Limp announced earlier this week he’s joining Blue Origin, the closely held spaceflight company founded by Jeff Bezos.

At Seattle rival Amazon, Panay takes over the division responsible for the Alexa voice software and Echo smart speakers, Ring doorbells, Fire streaming sticks and tablets and Kindle e-readers, among other projects.

Amazon sells millions of mostly low-priced devices each year and Alexa is the leading home voice software, but the company hasn’t been able to translate that reach into a profitable business, analysts say.