Former OpenAI CEO Sam Altman is set to join Microsoft after he and former president Greg Brockman were fired from their positions last week.
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella went on X/Twitter to announce that Sam Altman and Greg Brockman, along with several of OpenAI’s top staff, will be joining Microsoft “to lead a new advanced AI research team”. Nadella was not one of the initial founders of OpenAI, but Microsoft went on to invest billions in the company.
We’re extremely excited to share the news that Sam Altman and Greg Brockman, together with colleagues, will be joining Microsoft to lead a new advanced AI research team. We look forward to moving quickly to provide them with the resources needed for their success.Satya Nadella on X
Altman and Brockman’s Ouster
On November 17, it was revealed that Sam Altman and Greg Brockman were fired from OpenAI during a “quick call” over Google Meet. You can read the entire details of the event – shared by Brockman on X/Twitter, below:
“Sam and I are shocked and saddened by what the board did today. Let us first say thank you to all the incredible people who we have worked with at OpenAI, our customers, our investors, and all of those who have been reaching out.
We too are still trying to figure out exactly what happened. Here is what we know:
– Last night, Sam got a text from Ilya asking to talk at noon Friday. Sam joined a Google Meet and the whole board, except Greg, was there. Ilya told Sam he was being fired and that the news was going out very soon.
– At 12:19pm, Greg got a text from Ilya asking for a quick call. At 12:23pm, Ilya sent a Google Meet link. Greg was told that he was being removed from the board (but was vital to the company and would retain his role) and that Sam had been fired. Around the same time, OpenAI published a blog post.
– As far as we know, the management team was made aware of this shortly after, other than Mira who found out the night prior.
The outpouring of support has been really nice; thank you, but please don’t spend any time being concerned. We will be fine. Greater things coming soon.”
After Altman was sacked, Chief Technology Officer Mira Murati became the interim CEO of the company, for a whopping 48 hours. In her short tenure, she shared that she was “honoured and humbled” to step into Altman’s previous designation.
Meanwhile, The Verge reported that OpenAI aimed to bring Altman back, and despite some indecision within the board, Jason Kwon, the chief strategy officer, assured employees that the company was “hopeful” about Altman’s return and promised to provide further details on Sunday morning.
Sam Altman went on X to post an image of him in an OpenAI guest pass, captioned “first and last time I ever wear one of these”.
Emmett Shear Becomes OpenAI’s Interim CEO
Twitch co-founder Emmett Shear has now taken over the reins as interim CEO, after resigning from Twitch earlier this year.
It is important to acknowledge that the relationship between Microsoft and OpenAI is set to remain the same, especially now that Microsoft has a 49% stake in the company.
Both Satya Nadella and Emmett Shear acknowledged this, with Nadella saying that Microsoft “remain(s) committed to (the) partnership” with OpenAI, and Shear saying that the company’s “partnership with Microsoft remains strong”.
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