Microsoft chief product officer, as well as the face of the Surface brand of hardware, Panos Panay, is now on Sonos’ board of directors.
Sonos board chairman Mike Volpi announced the change in a press statement released Monday.
“Panos brings extensive experience in building powerful and engaging consumer hardware products and experiences that customers love, at a global scale. He understands how hardware and software work together to deliver products that are easy to use, and deliver a fantastic experience. His track record, along with his passion for Sonos, will make him an impactful contributor to the company’s ongoing success,” said Volpi.
The press release states that the change became effective on August 12th, 2020.
At first thought, Panay joining the board doesn’t seem like a big deal, but with a closer look, the optics are a bit strange.
The Verge points out that Microsoft and Google have a good relationship with one another, especially considering the launch of the upcoming Surface Duo dual-screen smartphone running Android. Whereas, Sonos and Google are in the midst of a legal battle, as the speaker company alleges that Google stole its smart speaker technology. So, it’s a bit odd that Panay would align himself with Sonos.
Regardless of the optics, Panay has had many roles at Microsoft, including corporate vice president of Microsoft Devices, corporate vice president of Surface & PC hardware, and his current role of chief product officer and the face of Surface. Panay joining the board is a smart move on Sonos’ part as he comes with a lot of knowledge and wisdom in tech and hardware.
However, hopefully, this doesn’t ruin the relationship between Google and Microsoft.