Pelosi pockets millions in stock windfall amidst tech industry shake-up

 November 22, 2023

The recent controversy surrounding artificial intelligence innovator Open AI has brought attention to Nancy Pelosi's (D-Ca.) investments in the company's largest shareholder.

The former House Speaker's shares in Microsoft surged on the news that Open AI's CEO, Sam Altman, accepted a job offer to work on artificial intelligence at Microsoft.

Pelosi holdings soar....

OpenAI is behind some of the most popular and familiar AI systems, including chatbot ChatGPT and the image generator Dall-E.

In a controversy that shocked the tech world, Altman was fired by the company he co-founded last week. The company's board said they did not trust him to lead.

Microsoft - which owns 49 percent of Open AI - offered jobs to Altman and Open AI president Greg Brockman, as the company's employees threatened to walk out.

Shares in Microsoft hit an all-time high on Monday, reaching $377.44 per share. Pelosi's husband purchased $10 million in Microsoft stock two years ago at $130 per share.

This June, Pelosi and her husband exercised Microsoft call options worth about $1.7 million at a strike price of $180.

The Twitter account Nancy Pelosi Stock Tracker estimates that, amidst the OpenAI drama, she has gained $19 million from her Microsoft investments over the past two years.

Microsoft's chess move

In a whirlwind development, Open AI announced a deal to bring Altman back as CEO Tuesday with a new board.

The development has been widely described as an expert chess move by Microsoft.

"For Microsoft, this all ends up like a Cinderella ending as OpenAI will be stronger from an innovation and governance perspective," Wedbush Securities analyst Daniel Ives said.

Pelosi's trading activity has long led to complaints of insider trading and pressure to ban lawmakers from buying stock. She has long denied any role in her husband's investments, however, the timing of his trades has often raised eyebrows.

Paul Pelosi came under scrutiny in 2021 for purchasing millions in the chipmaker NVIDIA ahead of a vote on Joe Biden's CHIPS Act. Later, Pelosi sold the stocks at a loss under pressure.

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