Microsoft Hires Google DeepMind Founder To Head New AI Division

Microsoft on Tuesday announced that Mustafa Suleyman, co-founder of Google-owned DeepMind, will be heading Microsoft AI, the company's newest consumer-focused division. Suleyman will be the EVP and CEO of the new division that will initially focus on Copilot and its integration across Microsoft 365, Bing and Edge.

The Copilot, Bing, Edge and GenAI teams will now fall under the new Microsoft AI division, and all will report to Suleyman. This will continue what Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella calls the "Year 2 of the AI platform shift."

"At our core, we have always been a platform and partner-led company, and we'll continue to bring that sensibility to all we do," said Nadella, in a company announcement. "Our AI innovation continues to build on our most strategic and important partnership with OpenAI. We will continue to build AI infrastructure inclusive of custom systems and silicon work in support of OpenAI’s foundation model roadmap, and also innovate and build products on top of their foundation models."

Focusing on AI research for most of his career, Suleyman co-founded UK-based AI startup DeepMind in 2010 that focused on researching neural network models. The company was bought by Google parent Alphabet in 2014, where Suleyman led efforts to study neural network models in health care.

In 2019, Suleyman was placed on administrative leave after reports of bullying from coworkers came to light (paywalled). Before internal investigations could be concluded, Suleyman left DeepMind to become a VP for Google. He then left Google in 2022 to start Inflection AI, which focused on the development of chatbot technology.

Nadella expressed his confidence in Suleyman heading Microsoft's consumer AI efforts. "I've known Mustafa for several years and have greatly admired him as a founder of both DeepMind and Inflection, and as a visionary, product maker and builder of pioneering teams that go after bold missions," said Nadella.

Suleyman will report directly to Nadella.

Also joining Microsoft is Karén Simonyan, co-founder and chief scientist at Inflection AI, who will step into the chief scientist role for Microsoft AI. "Karén, a co-founder and chief scientist of Inflection, is a renowned AI researcher and thought leader, who has led the development of some of the biggest AI breakthroughs over the past decade including AlphaZero," said Nadella.

The company also said that others, including researchers and engineers, will be following Suleyman and Simonyan from Inflection AI. Kevin Scott will continue in his role as CTO for AI, focusing on company AI strategy.

About the Author

Chris Paoli (@ChrisPaoli5) is the associate editor for Converge360.


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