Joe Belfiore, a Microsoft veteran you may know from his work on Windows Phone in the early 2010s announced yesterday that he was leaving the company. Belfiore, who is currently CVP of the Office Product Group shared on Twitter that he will stay at Microsoft until the summer, then take some time off focus on his kids.
During his 32 years stint at Microsoft, Belfiore worked on many different projects including Windows XP, Windows Media Center, Zune, Windows Phone, and Windows 10 experiences. Belfiore really gained a public following during his Windows Phone years, a product that my colleague Paul and many other Microsoft enthusiasts covered extensively until it was killed off. Windows Phone 7/8 is an era many of you probably remember as Microsoft being at the top of the design game. Yes, the “Metro” UI seen on Zune and Windows Phone was unlike anything else back in the day.
Today I shared with my team that after 32 fantastic years (!) I'll be retiring from @Microsoft!
What's next? 1) I'm staying on until summer to help with the transition (SO MUCH GOODNESS COMING), then 2) focus on the two kids still at home & the 1 who just started college. 🙂
— Joe Belfiore (@joebelfiore) October 27, 2022
In 2015, Belfiore took a one-year leave of absence to travel around the world with his family, then came back to work on Windows 10 consumer shell initiatives. Belfiore later went on to lead the Windows Experience team at Microsoft before becoming CFP of the Office Experience Group following a 2020 reorg.
In his tweet announcing his departure, Belfiore teased that “so much goodness” was coming. Earlier this month, Microsoft announced at its Ignite conference that Office was becoming Microsoft 365, though the Office brand isn’t completely going away. In addition to being head of product for Office, Belfiore’s team is also responsible for Windows consumer experiences such as Phone Link and the Windows Photos app. The latter has just been redesigned on Windows 11 and picked up a handy integration with Apple’s iCloud Photo Library.
Whatever comes next for Joe Belfiore, we wish him the best in his future endeavors. As Paul tweeted, the Microsoft veteran’s energy and excitement will be missed.