Tech giant Microsoft is heavily invested in OpenAI, the company behind ChatGPT, which late on November 17 fired its co-founder and CEO Sam Altman who emerged as the face of generative AI after the launch of the immensely popular chatbot.
Perhaps that is the reason Microsoft chairman and CEO Satya Nadella rushed to reassure the tech giant's commitment to its customers and also extend support to Mira Murati, who has been named interim CEO of OpenAI
Within hours of Altman's sacking, Nadella wrote on X: "As you saw at Microsoft Ignite this week, we're continuing to rapidly innovate for this era of AI, with over 100 announcements across the full tech stack – from AI systems, models, and tools in Azure, to Copilot. Most importantly, we're committed to delivering all of this to our customers while building for the future. We have a long-term agreement with OpenAI with full access to everything we need to deliver on our innovation agenda and an exciting product roadmap; and remain committed to our partnership, and to Mira and the team. Together, we will continue to deliver the meaningful benefits of this technology to the world."
An early investor in OpenAI, Microsoft in January 2023 said it wanted to expand its partnership with the company as part of a greater effort to add more artificial intelligence to its suite of products.
The IT giant announced the third phase of its long-term partnership with OpenAI through a multiyear, multi-billion-dollar investment to accelerate AI breakthroughs to ensure the benefits are broadly shared with the world.
“We formed our partnership with OpenAI around a shared ambition to responsibly advance cutting-edge AI research and democratize AI as a new technology platform,” Nadella had said.
Microsoft's first investment in OpenAI came in 2019 and then in 2021. It reportedly $1 billion in 2019.
Altman is credited with almost singlehandedly convincing Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella to commit $10 billion to the company and leading the company’s tender offer transactions this year that fueled a nearly three-fold valuation bump from $29 billion to over $80 billion.
As per reports, Microsoft’s cumulative investment in OpenAI is reportedly $13 billion.
OpenAI was founded in 2015 as a nonprofit. The structure changed in 2019, after the formation of a “capped-profit” entity called OpenAI LP.
After Microsoft’s investment is paid, it will receive a percentage of OpenAI LP’s profits up to the agreed-upon cap, with the rest flowing to the nonprofit body, a CNBC report said.
With agency inputs