Microsoft hires DeepMind Co-founder Mustafa Suleyman, but he reportedly wasn't the first choice

Suleyman will lead the new AI division

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microsoft hires mustafa suleyman

Mustafa Suleyman, a pioneer in the field of artificial intelligence, has joined Microsoft as the CEO of Microsoft AI.

Suleyman took to X (previously Twitter) to share the update. His work at Microsoft will focus on consumer AI products and research, primarily Copilot, Edge, and Bing. These three were Microsoft’s first foray into AI.

Suleyman confirmed that Karén Simonyan and a few other teammates from InflectionAI, his latest venture, will also be joining the team at Microsoft. InflectionAI will now be headed by another CEO, who will be appointed soon. For the unversed, InflectionAI is the lab behind Pi, a highly personalized chatbot.

Satya Nadella initially wanted Sam Altman to head Microsoft AI

As per reports in Business Insider, Suleyman wasn’t Microsoft’s first choice. Nadella instead wanted Sam Altman, CEO of OpenAI, to be at the helm of the company’s AI push.

This was reportedly when Sam Altman was ousted from OpenAI for a brief period. Nadella even hired Altman to lead a new advanced AI research team, but that, too, never really took shape.

Soon, Altman was reinstated as the CEO. Reports tell us, Satya Nadella had a significant role to play in Altman’s return.

Given Microsoft’s deep interest in OpenAI, it didn’t matter much where Sam Altman worked as long as he was onboard. At the time, Satya Nadella, in an interview with Bloomberg, said,

We really want to partner with OpenAI, and we want to partner with Sam, and so irrespective of where Sam is, he’s working with Microsoft.

The sequence of events does highlight Microsoft’s intent to get someone popular to lead the AI team. And hiring Mustafa Suleyman, the brains behind DeepMind and InflectionAI, suits that purpose!

Besides, Microsoft now has both OpenAI and Mustafa Suleyman. Its multi-billion dollar partnership with OpenAI allows it to leverage the latter’s technology. And with Suleyman leading the AI division, it could compete with long-time rivals like Google.

Soon after Suleyman and Karén joined Microsoft, Satya Nadella sent out a memo to employees.

I’m very excited to announce that Mustafa Suleyman and Karén Simonyan are joining Microsoft to form a new organization called Microsoft AI, focused on advancing Copilot and our other consumer AI products and research.

What do you think of Mustafa Suleyman joining Microsoft and its effects on the AI space? Share with our readers in the comments section.

More about the topics: AI, microsoft, OpenAI