Microsoft Moves More Leaders Around After Suleyman AI CEO Hiring

Microsoft has promoted a veteran to lead a combined Windows Experiences and Windows + Devices team while its head of Windows Experiences leaves his job – days after he was moved to a position reporting to new Microsoft AI CEO Mustafa Suleyman.

The moves are part of further reorganizing at the Redmond, Wash.-based tech giant after hiring earlier this month Suleyman and other leaders at startup Inflection AI. Suleyman’s AI resume includes co-founding DeepMind in 2010 and selling the company to Google in 2014 before leaving Google in 2022 to co-found Inflection.

Pavan Davuluri (pictured above) is the 23-plus-year Microsoft employee promoted to lead the combined Windows Experiences and Windows + Devices team, according to a Microsoft memo shared with CRN.

Mikhail Parakhin, identified as Microsoft’s CEO of advertising and web services on his LinkedIn account, “has decided to explore new roles” and will report to Microsoft Chief Technology Officer and Executive Vice President of AI Kevin Scott to support the Windows and Web Experiences (WWE) transition, according to the memo. It is not clear if Parakhin intends to leave Microsoft altogether.

In the memo, Rajesh Jha, Microsoft’s executive vice president experiences and devices, said that he and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella “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.”

Davuluri will report to Jha. The combined Windows Experiences and Windows + Devices teams will serve “as a core part of the Experiences + Devices (E+D) division,” according to the memo.

“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,” according to the memo.

Davuluri and Parakhin saw their roles change after Microsoft Chief Product Officer Panos Panay left the vendor in September after 19 years. Panay is now senior vice president of devices and services at Amazon.

After Panay left, Davuluri became corporate vice president (CVP) of Windows + Devices. He joined Microsoft in 2001 as a reliability component manager, according to his LinkedIn account.

Parakhin has been at Microsoft on and off for more than 10 years, rejoining the tech giant in 2019 as CVP of technology, according to his LinkedIn account. He became CEO of advertising and web services in 2022 and started leading the newly formed WWE team after Panay left.

Other leadership changes outlined in the memo include:

  • Shilpa Ranganathan, Microsoft’s Windows CVP since April 2022 and a 15-plus-year company veteran, and her team will report to Davuluri
  • Jeff Johnson, CVP of Windows engineering, and his team will report to Davuluri
  • The Windows team will continue to work closely with the Microsoft AI team on AI, silicon and experiences
  • The Web Experiences team will report to Suleyman
  • Jordi Ribas, Microsoft CVP for search and AI and a 24-year veteran of the company, will lead Search, Maps and Platforms, join the Microsoft AI leadership team and report to Suleyman
  • Andrey Proskurin, Microsoft’s engineering CVP since 2020, will report to Ribas
  • Fatima Kardar, a 22-plus-year Microsoft veteran and CVP of AI infrastructure and partnerships, will report to Ribas
  • Nick Lee, CVP of Microsoft Maps & Local, will report to Ribas
  • Rukmini Iyer – CVP of Microsoft Advertising product engineering and a 13-year Microsoft veteran – will lead Advertising, join the Microsoft AI leadership team and report to Suleyman
  • Paul Viola, a distinguished engineer at Microsoft since 2020, will report to Iyer
  • Weiqing Tu, CVP leading the Microsoft Start content feed product, will report to Iyer
  • Mike Davidson, Microsoft AI CVP for design and research since 2022, continues to lead design and will work with Davuluri and his team on how to realign Windows design – plus Davidson joins the Microsoft AI leadership team and reports to Suleyman
  • They will join the Microsoft AI leadership team along with Jordi, Mike and Rukmini, all reporting to Mustafa

The memo also lists several leaders whose roles aren’t changing, but they will join the Microsoft AI leadership team and report to Suleyman:

  • Android Microsoft Experiences and Platform CVP Ali Akgun
  • Advertising CVP Kya Sainsbury-Carter
  • Qi Zhang, Microsoft CVP, CTO of Microsoft Asia Pacific research and development (R&D) and senior deputy head of Microsoft Software Technology Center Asia
  • Rajesh Sundaram, CVP of the Microsoft Edge browser and web platform

Meanwhile, multiple news outlets have reported that Microsoft is paying Inflection at least $650 million to hire the employees and use the startup’s AI models.

The deal also comes amid more scrutiny from the United States’ federal government over unusual deals between tech giants such as Microsoft and Google and smaller AI organizations including OpenAI and Anthropic.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *