Business Spotlight

SEC Considering Investigation Of OpenAI CEO Sam Altman And Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella For Quid Pro Quo Favor Trading

The allegations against Altman and Nadella are serious, and if proven true, could have significant consequences for both Microsoft and OpenAI.

OpenAI CEO Sam Altman & Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella
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[Image above includes two parts; a section of a PDF, and a photograph of Nadella and Altman. The upper part shows the heading of a 7-page PDF titled “TCRReport (1).pdf” which was received by this reporter over the weekend via Signal.]

According to a report last week by The Michigan Post [1], there is a possibility that the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) may soon launch an investigation into OpenAI CEO Sam Altman and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella for alleged quid pro quo behavior. The article cites a post on Reddit’s r/wallstreetbets forum, which claims that the two CEOs may be under investigation for personal favor trading in violation of their respective fiduciary duties to their own firms. The allegations stem from a controversial 2019 investment by Microsoft in OpenAI, which some critics say gave Microsoft undue influence over the non-profit research company.

A second report by Halt.org [2] corroborates the claim that an SEC investigation looms for the two CEOs. It also ties the case to broader concerns about the ethical impact of AI companies on society, stating that “The allegations have raised concerns about the ethics of OpenAI’s relationship with Microsoft.” This case comes amid the highly controversial step taken by the OpenAI board of directors last week to remove the only two women from the board, Tasha McCauley and Helen Toner, without whom the OpenAI board now consists of only men.


The allegations against Altman and Nadella are serious, and if proven true, could have significant consequences for both Microsoft and OpenAI. It remains to be seen whether the SEC will launch an investigation, and if so, what the outcome will be. We will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates as they become available.

[1] https://michigan-post.com/redditors-from-r-wallstreetbets-call-attention-to-possibility-that-an-sec-investigation-of-openai-ceo-sam-altman-and-microsoft-ceo-satya-nadella-may-soon-be-filed/
[2] https://www.halt.org/sec-investigation-looms-for-openai-ceo-sam-altman-and-microsoft-ceo-satya-nadella/

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