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Business News/ Companies / People/  Microsoft's AI bet pays off, CEO Satya Nadella's windfall surpasses $1 billion amid stock surge
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Microsoft's AI bet pays off, CEO Satya Nadella's windfall surpasses $1 billion amid stock surge

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella's investment in OpenAI and its ChatGPT has pushed the tech giant's stock to new highs, surpassing a $1 billion windfall for Nadella. The move has also propelled Microsoft ahead of competitors in AI capabilities.

Satya Nadella, chief executive officer of Microsoft Corp. Premium
Satya Nadella, chief executive officer of Microsoft Corp.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella's investment in OpenAI and its ChatGPT has pushed the tech giant's stock to new highs. The move also nudged his total windfall from Microsoft past a threshold of $1 billion, according to Bloomberg News. 

In an email, Microsoft spokesperson Frank Shaw said that Satya Nadella does not have a net worth of a billion dollars or more. His AI-driven move catapulted Microsoft ahead of competitors like Alphabet Inc. in AI capabilities and is the main driver of the stock's 50% surge this year.

Microsoft CEO's boon payouts include equity grants, salary, dividends, and bonuses. It's underpinned by Microsoft shares returning more than 1,000% since his first day in the top job, Bloomberg reported. 

Sam Garg, an associate professor at ESSEC Business School in Singapore said, “He is a well-liked person and has built an incredible team around him. He is also among the few tech CEOs who are not reviled by politicians and regulators."

Microsoft Corp. is one of the most-loved stocks on Wall Street, but even the wildly positive views surrounding the software giant haven’t been able to keep up with a rally that has already topped 50% this year.

On Tuesday alone, Microsoft jumped as much as 6% after providing details on pricing for some artificial intelligence services. The advance drove the stock to $364.44 — 3% above the average analyst price target of $353.60.

While 87% of the analysts tracked by Bloomberg continue to recommend buying the stock, the premium is the latest example of how the massive rally in big tech has taken prices to elevated levels.

In addition to Microsoft, Apple Inc., Meta Platforms Inc., and Netflix Inc. are all trading above their average targets. Tesla Inc. is nearly 20% above forecasts, the weakest expected return among all Nasdaq 100 Index members.

Much of the rally has been fueled by investor excitement over AI, a technology that many of the mega caps are exposed to. The pricing that Microsoft detailed on Tuesday is seen as higher than expected, and analysts said it could support the company’s growth prospects going forward.

(With Bloomberg inputs)

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Published: 20 Jul 2023, 01:21 PM IST
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