Satya Nadella pulls off $1.5 bn, OpenAI-type deal with G42 to cement Microsoft’s AI lead - Hindustan Times

Satya Nadella pulls off $1.5 bn, OpenAI-type deal with G42 to cement Microsoft’s AI lead

Apr 20, 2024 09:42 PM IST

In a blow to rivals, Satya Nadella has taken another step to cement Microsoft’s AI lead through a deal with G42 that looks akin to his gameplay with OpenAI.

When it comes to deal-making, there is no one better than Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella. In case of doubt, just check how his deal with Sam Altman-led OpenAI, stole the thunder from the likes of Google, Meta Platforms, Apple, even Tesla chief Elon Musk and the rest of the tech world. It has arguably put Microsoft in the driver’s seat as far as driving the AI juggernaut forward is concerned.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has inked a deal with Abu Dhabi-based G42, a company linked to OpenAI.(AP)
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has inked a deal with Abu Dhabi-based G42, a company linked to OpenAI.(AP)

But Nadella is not resting on his laurels. Since he is getting such great results from his amazing deals, he has continued to forge more relations. That applied recently to his deal with Inflection AI. Nadella had hired Mustafa Suleyman, a cofounder of Google’s DeepMind who was the CEO of Inflection AI to head a new AI division at Microsoft. While Inflection got $650 mn to pay off investors, Microsoft got its tech as well as the top techies. It was the same gameplan that landed OpenAI for Microsoft.

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The thing with these deals is that, not only does he get the best tech brains in the world to work for Microsoft, he also gets the best technology. Now, Nadella has gone ahead and pulled off another amazing deal and this one he managed despite the humongous hurdles it had presented. He has signed a $1.5 bn deal with Abu Dhabi-based firm G42, which has been linked to OpenAI and its chip-making plans. The problem was the company’s close ties with China and some companies there including the much-proscribed Huawei. So, it can be imagined how tough the going must have been when he must have broached the subject with the US administration.

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Nevertheless, he got the deal and in the bargain even persuaded G42 to cut its connections with China!

In his X post, Microsoft President Brad Smith said, “We will combine world-class technology with world-leading standards for safe, trusted, and responsible AI, in close coordination with the governments of both the UAE and the United States.”

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Peng Xiao, Group Chief Executive Officer of G42, said, “Through Microsoft’s strategic investment, we are advancing our mission to deliver cutting-edge AI technologies at scale.”

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