What you need to know
Microsoft stock hit an all-time high this morning, reaching $378.74 per share.
The company's stock has fluctuated in line with rumors surrounding OpenAI co-founder Sam Altman.
Altman was fired from OpenAI last Friday, but it's believed he may return to the company or join Microsoft to lead an advanced AI research team as CEO.
It's not clear if OpenAI co-founder Sam Altman will return to the company he started or lead Microsoft's new advanced AI research group. What is clear, however, is that Microsoft's market value is on the rise. In fact, Microsoft stock hit an all-time high today before dipping down. Microsoft's stock hit $378.74 at 10 AM today, November 21, 2023.
We don't normally cover Microsoft stock figures unless the company hits a major milestone or there's a dramatic drop in value, but the Sam Altman timeline is too juicy to ignore. Microsoft's stock fluctuated over the weekend and started the week in step with Altman-related rumors.
When Altman was shockingly ousted by the OpenAI board, Microsoft stock plummeted. As soon as there were rumors of Altman joining Microsoft, stock value went up. Now that there's uncertainty about which company Altman will work for, Microsoft's stock is dipping.
Are all of these rises and falls connected to Altman? Probably not. Stock prices are volatile and subject to several factors. But there are at least trends that seem to line up with Altman news.
Is Sam Altman at OpenAI or Microsoft?
Incredibly, this is a difficult question to answer. Due to strange circumstances and news coming out through both official channels and news reports, Altman's status appears to be in flux. At this stage, it appears that Altman could lead Microsoft's advanced AI research team or return to OpenAI at any moment.
While Altman's long-term role remains a question mark, we have strong words from Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella on OpenAI's governance. The CEO was reportedly furious about OpenAI not giving Microsoft notice, which isn't surprising considering the tech giant is rumored to have over $10 billion invested in OpenAI. Since those reports of anger, Nadella has spoken about the saga.
"[We’re] committed to OpenAI and Sam, irrespective of what configuration,” said Nadella to CNBC’s Jon Fortt. The CEO added that Microsoft “chose to explicitly partner with OpenAI [and] obviously that depends on the people at OpenAI staying there or coming to Microsoft, so [Nadella is] open to both options.”
Nadella also commented on hundreds of OpenAI employees threatening to quit the company and join Microsoft, stating, "that is for OpenAI board and management and the employees to choose."
Regardless of if Altman is at OpenAI or Microsoft, Nadella wants to see changes in how OpenAI operates. "I think we will definitely want some governance changes. Surprises are bad and we just want to make sure that things are done in a way that will allow is to continue to partner well," said the CEO on Bloomberg TV.
"This idea that somehow suddenly changes happen without being in the loop is not good and we will definitely ensure that some of the changes that are needed happen and we continue to be able to go along with the partnership with OpenAI."