Microsoft Appoints DeepMind Co-founder Mustafa Suleyman as CEO of New AI Division

Microsoft announced on Tuesday that it has enlisted the expertise of former Mustafa Suleyman, a co-founder of the artificial intelligence startup DeepMind, which was acquired by Google in 2014, to spearhead its Copilot AI initiatives.

Suleyman will become the executive vice president and CEO of Microsoft AI, reporting directly to CEO Satya Nadella.

DeepMind gained prominence within Google as a frontrunner in AI research, earning recognition for its work in the esteemed journal Nature and garnering significant media attention.

The company’s strides in AI innovation also drew the interest of Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who responded by establishing the nonprofit AI lab, OpenAI, to rival Google’s advancements.

Having departed from Google’s parent company, Alphabet, in 2022, Suleyman went on to co-found and lead startup Inflection AI as its CEO.

Microsoft Appoints DeepMind Co-founder Mustafa Suleyman as CEO of New AI Division
Karén Simonyan, co-founder of Inflection AI, was appointed chief scientist for Microsoft AI (Credits: Inflection AI)

In a memo to Microsoft employees, Nadella revealed that Karén Simonyan, a co-founder and chief scientist at Inflection AI, will join Microsoft as the chief scientist for Microsoft AI, along with “several” other members of the startup’s team.

The newly formed Microsoft AI group will concentrate on enhancing the Copilot chatbot, which is integrated into various Microsoft products such as Bing and Windows. Additionally, the group will oversee consumer AI products and research endeavors.

Mikhail Parakhin, CEO of advertising and web services and leader of the Copilot, Bing, and Edge development team, will transition to the new organization under Suleyman’s leadership, along with Misha Bilenko, corporate vice president of Microsoft generative AI.

Nadella praised Suleyman, saying, “I’ve known Mustafa for years and have admired him. He founded DeepMind and Inflection, and he’s a visionary who makes products and builds teams to achieve big goals.”

Microsoft Appoints DeepMind Co-founder Mustafa Suleyman as CEO of New AI Division
Microsoft focuses on enhancing the Copilot chatbot and consumer AI products under Suleyman’s leadership. (Credits: Microsoft Edge)

In 2021, DeepMind acknowledged that an external lawyer was investigating employee concerns regarding Suleyman’s management style and confirmed that he underwent professional development training.

Meanwhile, Demis Hassabis, another DeepMind co-founder, remains at Google DeepMind. Although Google stands as one of Microsoft’s primary competitors in the AI sphere, it has faced challenges with its Gemini chatbot and image-generation AI, prompting the removal of the image-generation feature due to various issues.

Inflection AI, which disclosed Microsoft’s investment last year, boasts a workforce of 76 employees according to LinkedIn data, making it considerably smaller than OpenAI, a pivotal strategic partner for Microsoft.

The company has appointed former Mozilla executive Sean White as its new CEO, as it pivots its focus towards developing custom AI models for commercial clients.

Sajda Parveen
Sajda Parveen
Sajda Praveen is a market expert. She has over 6 years of experience in the field and she shares her expertise with readers. You can reach out to her at [email protected]
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