Joe Belfiore leaves Microsoft for "retirement"

[German]Joe Belfiore, a Microsoft Manager, currently in the executive suite of Microsoft's Office team, has just announced that he is leaving the company after 32 years. He plans his "retirement" with 54/55 years.


I just came across the information via following tweet that Belfiore is retiring from Microsoft to focus on his personal life.

According to the above tweet, Belfiore has told his team that he will retire (at age 54/55). He plans to stay at Microsoft until the summer of 2023, when he will focus on his two children still at home.

Born in Florida in 1968, Joe Belfiore has been with Microsoft for 32 years and has had a long career in management there. Shortly after he was hired, he was program manager for OS/2, but it was only a brief stint, as Microsoft ended its partnership with IBM regarding OS/2. Belfiore moved to the Windows NT team to work as user interface manager.

In 1993, when NT shipped, he joined the Windows team and became lead program manager for the user interface on the Chicago project that would become Windows 95. He then worked on the user interface for Internet Explorer 3 and Internet Explorer 4, including the Windows shell built into IE4.


Belfiore then became manager of user experience for Windows 2000 and Windows XP, including the engineering and design team that developed the Windows XP user interface.

In 2002, Belfiore joined Microsoft's new eHome digital home media division, where he first helped develop Windows XP Media Center Edition and later became vice president of the division. In 2008, he became corporate vice president of the Zune division.

Mister Windows Phone

In February 2009, Belfiore moved to the Mobile Communications Business department, which was responsible for Windows Mobile. He became director of program management, and his team worked on the development of the Metro user interface in the upcoming Windows Phone 7, which included influences from the earlier Windows Media Center design and carried over to many other Microsoft products such as Xbox 360 and Windows 8.

He also led the development of Cortana and many other aspects of the platform. He was the face of the company's Windows Phone efforts.

Windows 10, Sabbatical and Office

In the summer of 2013, Belfiore was named head of "PC/Tablet/Phone" within the Operating Systems Group at Microsoft. There, he was responsible for delivering Windows 10 to PCs, tablets and phones. That same year, he pushed app development and user experience for Internet Explorer. All dead horses from today's perspective.

In the fall of 2015, Belfiore announced a nine-month hiatus from Microsoft to travel the world with his family aboard the MV World Odyssey. Gave a hello in the media at the time because Belfiore was using an iPhone as well as a Galaxy S7 as cell phones.

After returning from vacation in 2016, Belfiore resumed his work on Windows 10. In 2018, he led the Windows Client Experience, which includes the Windows Shell and Microsoft Edge and Microsoft Launcher cross-device experiences.

In 2020, it was announced that Belfiore would lead the Microsoft Office Experience Group (see also Shifting Chairs, Windows Reorganization at Microsoft), while continuing to lead the group that covers Microsoft's mobile apps for the iOS and Android platforms.

And now the end of that run at Microsoft is in sight – the exit notice came on Oct. 27, 2023 – Belfiore will then join the family as a "stay-at-home dad and private citizen" sometime next summer. Let's see where we see him again in a few years.

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