Following the shakeup at OpenAI, which resulted in the former CEO, Sam Altman, getting into a high-level position at Microsoft, the latter’s stock experienced a slight jump on Monday.
This move was met with favourable reactions from analysts who believe it could bring transitional stability to Microsoft while potentially impacting OpenAI’s valuation.
Microsoft’s shares rose by almost 2% in the initial minutes of trading on Monday, recovering from the losses incurred on Friday when OpenAI’s board ousted CEO Sam Altman. With Microsoft reportedly holding a 49% equity stake in OpenAI, the tech giant quickly appointed Altman and former OpenAI President Greg Brockman to lead its newly established “advanced AI research” unit.
Analysts, including Barton Crockett from Rosenblatt and Dan Ives from Wedbush, noted positive sentiments about the appointments. Crockett highlighted the transitional stability Altman and Brockman bring to Microsoft, while Ives emphasized that Altman’s move to Microsoft strengthens the company’s position in the AI sector.
Microsoft’s stock hit an all-time high of $377.10 on Monday, marking a 56% increase year-to-date. The company’s success in capitalising on the AI trend has contributed to its market capitalisation reaching nearly $3 trillion.
However, the OpenAI drama took another unexpected turn a few hours after Altman and Brockman’s appointments. About two-thirds of OpenAI’s employees informed the board that they would quit unless Altman and Brockman were reinstated. This development adds a layer of complexity to the ongoing situation between OpenAI’s board and its workforce.
OpenAI, known for its generative AI chatbot ChatGPT, faced a major setback with Altman’s unexpected dismissal. Microsoft, which made a multi-billion-dollar investment in OpenAI in January, seemed blindsided by the move. The decision to appoint Altman and Brockman to lead Microsoft’s AI research unit is seen as a strategic move to secure Microsoft’s investment and expertise in the AI space.
While Microsoft’s stock price soared, analysts also suggested that the OpenAI drama might benefit other players in the AI sector, citing Google’s Alphabet and Amazon-backed Anthropic as potential winners. Shares of Amazon and Alphabet displayed modest reactions in Monday’s trading.