Who is Mustafa Suleyman? DeepMind Founder Turned AI CEO

As Mustafa Suleyman joins Microsoft as its new AI CEO, we take a deep-dive into his life and legacy as he continues to accelerate business technology

Mustafa Suleyman, co-founder of DeepMind (now Google DeepMind) and Inflection, has been appointed the CEO of Microsoft AI to run a new consumer AI unit.

Bringing with him more than 15 years of experience as an entrepreneur, technologist and AI leader, he is joining the company alongside longtime collaborator Karén Simonyan, who will join Microsoft as Chief Scientist, in addition to 70 staff members from Inflection.

Mustafa’s appointment is the latest move by Microsoft to continue cementing itself as one of the largest companies in the world, having already committed to several initiatives - including its OpenAI investment - to capitalise on the transformative impact of AI.

The tech giant is also keen to make good on its promise to deliver safe and accessible AI platforms so businesses can better tailor it to suit individual needs.

Establishing a presence in big tech

Mustafa was raised in London and later attended Mansfield College at the University of Oxford, before dropping out at the age of 19. It was then that he helped start the Muslim Youth Helpline, a telephone counselling service that has become one of the largest support services for Muslims across the UK.

Having always been keen to make a difference, Mustafa worked for a wide range of clients through his work at Reos Partners, which includes the United Nations, the Dutch government and the World Wide Fund for Nature.

Mustafa then co-founded DeepMind, the now incredibly well-known AI and machine learning company, with Demis Hassabis and Shane Legg. He became the company’s Chief Product Officer and the organisation quickly cemented itself within the technology industry as a leading figure, leading to it being acquired by Google in 2014.

Within the company, Mustafa helped set up DeepMind Ethics & Society, a unit that worked to study the real-world impacts of AI.

After being acquired, Mustafa became Head of Applied AI at DeepMind, which saw him overseeing the integration of the company’s technology across Google products. This work involved collaborating with a wide range of partners, including health organisations like the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) for research collaboration, as well as advancing Google’s data centre cooling projects.

A trailblazer in the field of AI

After leaving Google in 2022, Mustafa went on to co-found Inflection, a technology company that develops machine learning and generative AI (Gen AI) hardware and applications.

In May 2023, the startup business launched Pi, a personalised intelligence AI platform that is designed to offer conversations, friendly advice, and concise information in a natural, flowing style.

Speaking at the time, Mustafa said: “Pi is a new kind of AI, one that isn’t just smart but also has good EQ. We think of Pi as a digital companion on hand whenever you want to learn something new, when you need a sounding board to talk through a tricky moment in your day, or just pass the time with a curious and kind counterpart.”

In addition to his accomplishments, Mustafa is a prominent figure in the world of AI ethics, having been vocal about the need for companies and governments to work together to keep AI technology responsible. He is a co-chair of the Partnership on AI, an organisation that includes Amazon, Apple, DeepMind, Meta, Google, IBM and Microsoft, to advance public understanding of AI and advocate for best practice solutions.

Mustafa now joins Microsoft with a legacy of having led, launched and co-authored many significant contributions to the field of AI. He will now seek to contribute his knowledge and expertise to the company’s new consumer AI research and product making areas of business.

“I’m excited to announce that today I’m joining Microsoft as CEO of Microsoft AI,” Mustafa said in a statement. “I’ll be leading all consumer AI products and research, including Copilot, Bing and Edge.

“It’s been an amazing journey, with so much more to come.”

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