Joe Belfiore, the face of Windows Phone, is retiring

Joe Belfiore

Another one of the old guards is saying goodbye! Remember Joe Belfiore? Who was, for a period in time, the face of Windows Phone? Well, he is leaving Microsoft.

Belfiore has been with the Redmond based technology giant for some 32 years. During his time at the company, he led a number of efforts, ranging from Windows 10 (its apps and even features like Sets), to Office, OneNote, and Edge.

But he is most vividly remembered for his time overseeing Windows Phone β€” managing not just the fledgling mobile OS but also coordinating the whole ecosystem with the Nokia and Lumia brands.

His ride with Windows Phone was not always smooth. An infamous episode in 2011 had him taking to Channel 9 to laugh off issues with belated updates for the phone operating platform. He took a lot of heat for this, so much so that he had to publicly apologize.

Well, it so happens that Belfiore has made a decision, and that decision is to leave the firm, where he spent over three decades.

He announced today that he will retire next summer to focus on his kids:

Now, in the corporate world, the phrase of spending more time with the family is often code for a forced departure. But that is not the case here.

Belfiore took a leave of absence for one year in 2015 to spend time with his family, and then returned to work at Microsoft until 2020 when he took another substantive break to travel with his family. But now, though, he is done for good.

And that is exactly what he announced internally in an email sent to employees, before sharing his decision publicly. ZDNet confirms that his move is a personal decision.

Most of you will know Belfiore for his time in charge of the Windows Phone division that he led from 2009 to 2013. He then went on to lead the Windows 10 team for almost five years. In 2018, he took a leading role of the Essentials Services Group at Microsoft.

This was a division that included Windows 10, Edge, Surface software, and several mobile applications.

The Microsoft Corporate Vice President currently heads the Office Group alongside CVP Ales Holecek, and the executive will serve as a senior advisor and coach to aid the transition until summer 2023.

Still, the man had a tough job and served as a beloved front man for Windows Phone.