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Microsoft hires co-founder of British AI firm DeepMind

DeepMind Microsoft
Image credit: Joi Ito / Wikimedia Commons Gallery

Mustafa Suleyman, co-founder of pioneering British AI startup DeepMind, has been appointed to run Microsoft’s new AI division.

Microsoft has made no secret of being all in on the current wave of AI technology, having invested heavily in both its internal capabilities and in partner companies like OpenAI.

Now launching a new AI-specific arm, Microsoft AI, the Californian tech giant has chosen Suleyman as the division’s chief executive.

In a blog post announcing the venture, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella wrote: “The work and product innovation we drive at this moment will define the next decade and beyond. Let us use this opportunity to build world-class AI products, like Copilot, that are loved by end-users.

“This is about science, engineering, product, and design coming together and embracing a learning mindset to push our innovation culture and product-building process forward in fundamental ways.”

Suleyman co-founded DeepMind almost a decade ago, serving as both its chief product officer and head of applied AI. The London-based startup was later acquired by Google, where Suleyman spent two years as the VP of AI product management and AI policy.

Suleyman later co-founded Silicon Valley-based Inflection AI in 2022, which he ran for two years before being snapped up by Microsoft.

Microsoft has also appointed fellow Inflection co-founder Karén Simonyan as the chief scientist of its AI division.

Microsoft recently declared its intention to invest £2.5bn into the computing infrastructure of the UK as part of its AI investment strategy.

The firm has, however, faced recent regulatory issues in the UK, as competition regulators have flagged its partnership with OpenAI as potentially harmful.