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Microsoft Shares Hit Record High Amid Tumult Around OpenAI

Microsoft shares hit an all-time high on Monday (Nov. 20) after an early morning announcement that former OpenAI CEO Sam Altman and President Greg Brockman will join the company.

Several other stocks in the artificial intelligence (AI) sector also rose in midday trading, Seeking Alpha reported Monday. was up nearly 8%, Holdings rose 6.7%, Palantir Technologies added 4.7% and SoundHound AI picked up 2.7%, according to the report.

Microsoft and CEO Satya Nadella have been praised for their handling of the tumult around the OpenAI board’s ouster of Altman, the report said.

The tech giant’s moves also seemed to reassure investors about the future of AI in general, per the report.

OpenAI’s board ousted Altman on Friday (Nov. 17) with little information given. The unexpected news about the well-known CEO sent shockwaves across the entire AI ecosystem.

By Sunday, Altman was given a new CEO position at a soon-to-be-created Microsoft AI research division.

Amid these happenings, many of the tech giants who found themselves flat-footed around this time last year by the rapid and popular success of OpenAI’s ChatGPT bot are likely to benefit from the weekend’s chaos, PYMNTS reported Monday.

Meanwhile, at OpenAI, the firm’s newly appointed interim CEO — Emmett Shear, who previously served as the CEO of Twitch — said Monday that one of his primary objectives is to investigate the process that led to the situation.

It was reported on Nov. 1 that a new Microsoft AI product could become a major revenue driver for the tech giant.

The company at that time began selling its Microsoft 365 Copilot AI for its Office app business subscribers after launching a commercial version in September. With that feature costing $30 per person each month, Microsoft could see more than $10 billion in annualized revenue by 2026, CNBC reported, citing work by Piper Sandler analysts Brent Bracelin and Hannah Rudoff.

In another recent development in this sector, Microsoft announced on Wednesday (Nov. 15) the public preview release of Azure AI Speech technology that allows users to create talking avatar videos with text input and build real-time interactive bots using human images.