Elon Musk claims Microsoft 'controls' OpenAI. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella says that's 'not correct.'

Elon Musk claims Microsoft 'controls' OpenAI. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella says that's 'not correct.'
Satya Nadella (right) says Elon Musk's criticism of OpenAI as being "controlled" by Microsoft is "not correct."REUTERS/Joe Skipper/File Photo/Arnd Wiegmann
  • Satya Nadella is pushing back on Elon Musk's criticism of Microsoft's partnership with OpenAI.
  • Musk claimed OpenAI, which he cofounded — but is no longer involved in — is "effectively controlled" by Microsoft.

Microsoft's CEO is pushing back on Elon Musk's criticism of the company's multibillion-dollar partnership with ChatGPT creator OpenAI.

In an interview with CNBC published Tuesday, Satya Nadella was asked about Musk's claim that Microsoft controls OpenAI.

"First of all, I have a lot of respect for Elon and all that he does," Nadella said. "I would just say that's factually not correct."

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"The last time I checked, we are the only for-profit company that is comfortable with a nonprofit company and a board controlling technology, and I would welcome others to do that as well," he added.

OpenAI in 2019 shed its nonprofit status and announced it was becoming "capped-profit" as a hybrid of a non- and for-profit.


Musk cofounded OpenAI alongside CEO Sam Altman and others in 2015, before leaving its board in 2018, citing potential conflicts of interest. He's since become a vocal critic of OpenAI.

In February, he said it had changed into a "maximum profit company effectively controlled by Microsoft," which was "not what I intended at all." Speaking with Tucker Carlson in April, Musk doubled down on his claim, saying, "In effect, Microsoft has a very strong say, if not directly controls OpenAI at this point."

Musk has also said he wants to build a ChatGPT rival that he calls "TruthGPT," which he describes as a "maximum truth-seeking AI that tries to understand the nature of the universe."