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Microsoft Strengthens AI Focus with Appointment of DeepMind Veterans

Microsoft created a new AI division led by DeepMind veterans Suleyman and Simonyan to focus on AI research


Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has announced the establishment of a new AI division within the company, appointing Mustafa Suleyman and Karén Simonyan as its leaders. Suleyman, co-founder of the AI startup Inflection and former co-founder of DeepMind, will take on the roles of Executive Vice President and CEO of Microsoft AI. Simonyan, also originating from DeepMind where he contributed as a researcher, will serve as the division’s chief scientist. Their primary focus will be on advancing Microsoft’s AI-infused products, including Microsoft Copilot, Bing, and Edge, alongside spearheading further research in the field.

Leadership and Vision

Nadella expressed his admiration for Suleyman’s vision and leadership, citing his pioneering work at both DeepMind and Inflection. Despite Suleyman’s controversial past at Google, where he faced criticism and was reported to have been relieved of management duties due to allegations of staff mistreatment, Nadella highlighted Suleyman’s subsequent personal and professional growth. Suleyman himself has acknowledged these issues, stating he took the feedback seriously and worked on his management style. The move to Microsoft marks a new chapter for Suleyman and Simonyan, bringing their extensive experience in AI to the forefront of Microsoft’s strategic initiatives.

Strategic Implications and Future Directions

This leadership change is part of Microsoft’s broader strategy to enhance its AI capabilities and product offerings. The company has emphasized the importance of AI in its future growth, with Nadella mentioning the ongoing partnership with OpenAI as a key element of their AI innovation strategy. Microsoft aims to continue developing AI infrastructure and products based on OpenAI’s foundation models, reinforcing its commitment to being a leader in the AI space. The addition of Suleyman and Simonyan is expected to accelerate Microsoft’s AI development efforts, although the company has urged investors to have tempered expectations regarding immediate revenue from these AI advancements.

In parallel, Inflection announced Sean White as its new CEO, signaling a leadership transition as Suleyman and Simonyan depart for Microsoft. This move also includes several Inflection team members joining Microsoft, further strengthening the collaboration between the two entities. As Microsoft navigates the complexities of AI development and its implications, the appointments of Suleyman and Simonyan are poised to play a pivotal role in shaping the company’s AI strategy and product evolution.

Luke Jones
Luke Jones
Luke has been writing about all things tech for more than five years. He is following Microsoft closely to bring you the latest news about Windows, Office, Azure, Skype, HoloLens and all the rest of their products.

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