Microsoft’s New A.I. Boss Mustafa Suleyman Makes His First Big Move

Microsoft is opening a new A.I. hub in London, Suleyman's hometown.

Mustafa Suleyman
Mustafa Suleyman joined Microsoft in March. Leon Neal/Getty Images

Three weeks after DeepMind and Inflection AI cofounder Mustafa Suleyman joined Microsoft to lead its consumer A.I. efforts, the tech giant announced a new A.I. hub in London, Suleyman’s hometown. The U.K. outpost marks the first major development under Suleyman, whose official title is CEO of Microsoft (MSFT) AI, as his team looks to defend its territory against Google and streamline Microsoft’s various A.I. products, including its Bing browser and Copilot chatbot.

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The A.I. hub also follows a recent commitment by Microsoft to invest more than $3 billion into A.I. projects across the U.K. and train “more than one million people for the A.I. economy.” ChatGPT developer OpenAI, in which Microsoft has invested as much as $13 billion since 2019, will also play a key role in the tech giant’s consumer A.I. push.

“As a British citizen, born and raised in London, I’m proud to have co-founded and built a cutting-edge AI business here,” Suleyman wrote in a blog post yesterday (April 8). “I’m deeply aware of the extraordinary talent pool and A.I. ecosystem in the U.K., and I’m excited to make this commitment to the U.K. on behalf of Microsoft AI.”

He added that Microsoft chose the U.K. because of its government’s commitment to “advancing A.I. responsibly and with a safety-first commitment to drive investment, innovation and economic growth.” The U.K. government hosted the widely publicized A.I. Safety Summit in November 2023, which Suleyman attended with hundreds of industry leaders.

Suleyman has tapped the prominent A.I. scientist Jordan Hoffmann to run the London operation. Hoffmann was a close former lieutenant of Suleyman’s at both Inflection and DeepMind, now Google’a A.I. lab. He said the London  hub will issue new job postings in the “coming weeks and months” as his team collaborates with staffers across Microsoft and OpenAI developing new language models and supporting infrastructure.

Suleyman joined Microsoft in March and brought with him much of Inflection’s 70-person team, including fellow co-founder Karen Simonyan as chief scientist. Microsoft reportedly paid Inflection $650 million in cash for its top talent and to make its A.I. models available on Microsoft’s Azure cloud service.

With Inflection’s technologies, including personal chatbot Pi, under his belt at Microsoft, Suleyman will likely continue to build upon his startup’s “A.I. for everyone” ethos in the race to make consumer A.I. increasingly personalized and reflective of human emotions.

Since launching in 2022, Inflection burst onto the scene as one of the biggest trailblazers in generative A.I. It last year raised $1.3 billion from Microsoft and other Silicon Valley heavyweights including Nvidia, Bill Gates, former Google chief Eric Schmidt and LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman.

In addition to the pressure to further advance A.I., Suleyman and his cohorts at Microsoft are also under pressure to meet the rapidly increasing demand for data centers and other infrastructure to support the onslaught of new A.I. technologies.

Microsoft executives have been working on plans for a data center project involving a supercomputer called “Stargate” to fuel OpenAI’s operations, The Information reported last week, a project that could fetch a price tag of as much as $100 billion.

Microsoft’s New A.I. Boss Mustafa Suleyman Makes His First Big Move