Peter Skillman, a product and service designer who has helped overhaul Microsoft services such as Skype and Outlook, has left the company. In a Twitter post, Skillman confirmed he is heading to a new role but did not say which company he will be joining.
While its fair to say most people have never heard of Peter Skillman, he has had a major impact on Microsoft and tech in general before joining Redmond.
Indeed, before joining Microsoft Skillman was best known for working with Palm and Nokia. As VP of Design for Palm he was at the helm of webOS and introduced the platform to the world. Later with Nokia, he was part of the development team behind the scrapped MeeGo OS. Later he led the design team that created HERE Maps.
In 2015, Peter Skillman joined Microsoft initially as GM of Smart Things, the company’s IoT division. He was quickly moved to the Windows Desktop, Tablet and Phone team as General Manager of Core UX.
I’m spending a few days exploring and learning about our history, race and injustice in the birthplace of the civil rights movement. I have time because I just left Microsoft and will be starting a new role I’ll announce in a few weeks! pic.twitter.com/8D6KfuK3rK
— peter skillman (@peterskillman) August 23, 2019
During his tenure in the Windows business he was the lead on improving features. For example, he helmed changes to the Microsoft Store and Action Center.
After two years with Windows, Skillman moved to become Director of Design for Skype. For better or for worse, he was the chief behind Skype’s major 10-year update that divided opinion amongst users and critics.
Finally, Skillman ended his time with Microsoft as the Director of Design Outlook. Since taking the position in 2018, Outlook has also gone through a significant overhaul in terms of design. It seems Microsoft moved Skillman between divisions whenever the company needed to redesign a service.
We’ll leave it up to you to decided whether Skillman’s contributions at Microsoft have been impressive of not. Either way, it will be interesting to see which company he ends up with next.