Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella was the true winner from the OpenAI chaos, according to Wedbush analyst Dan Ives.
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella won this week's OpenAI fiasco – while the ChatGPT developer's board behaved like "little kids," according to Dan Ives.
The Wedbush analyst said Wednesday that Nadella had pulled off a "poker move for the ages" with his handling of Altman's dramatic ouster. In a wild four-day stretch, Altman was fired by OpenAI's board Friday, hired by Microsoft late Sunday, and then returned to OpenAI Tuesday.
"The golden child, Altman, is ultimately really in Microsoft's hands," Ives told CNBC. "The way they played this was a poker move for the ages from Nadella. The way this played out, you had the little kids playing checkers at the kids table in terms of the OpenAI board, and then the chessmaster came in."
"This is an arms race playing out… and right now they're popping champagne in Redmond, because of the way Nadella played this," he added.
Microsoft's stock price climbed to an all-time high Monday after Nadella announced that Altman would be joining the tech giant, and has held above that level despite the OpenAI's subsequent dramatic reversal.
The company's shares are now up 58% year-to-date, which has lifted Microsoft's market capitalization to more than $2.8 trillion, per data from Refinitiv. Rivals Alphabet and Amazon have racked up similar stock-price gains, powered higher by investors' desire to gain exposure to AI.
While Ives pegged the chaos at OpenAI as a clear win for Microsoft, others believe the tech giant's hand has been weakened by this week's events.
Cloudflare cofounder and CEO Matthew Prince said Monday that by seemingly strengthening his relationship with Altman, Nadella had opened up his company to more risks.
"It could have been worse, but it has still been a disaster for everyone directly involved," he wrote in a post on X. "We're not at the end of this story. But don't see a lot of ways in the short term it gets better for Microsoft. And really hard to see how it could get better even over the long term than it looked for them and OpenAI Friday morning last week."