A significant number of OpenAI employees on Monday expressed their intention to resign and join Microsoft, following in the footsteps of the company’s co-founder Sam Altman.
In a letter addressed to OpenAI’s board of directors and initially leaked to Wired, some senior company officials, including chief scientist Ilya Sutskever and senior executive Mira Murati, threatened to leave if the board was not replaced.
The letter accused the board of incompetence, stating: “Your actions have made it clear that you are incapable of overseeing OpenAI. »
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He also mentioned that Microsoft had assured them positions in the new subsidiary if they chose to join it. Reports indicate that up to 500 of OpenAI’s 770 employees signed the letter, according to AFP.
Despite pressure from Microsoft and other major investors to reinstate Altman, OpenAI named Emmett Shear, former CEO of Amazon’s Twitch, as its new CEO.
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella confirmed Altman’s decision to lead a new advanced AI research team at Microsoft, alongside OpenAI co-founder Greg Brockman and other colleagues.
Altman rose to prominence with the launch of ChatGPT, which sparked a surge in AI research and investment. His firing led to several high-profile departures from OpenAI, and investors reportedly advocated for his return.
OpenAI defended its decision, saying in a memo that “Sam’s behavior and lack of transparency compromised the board’s ability to effectively oversee the company.”
In an article on X, Shear confirmed his interim appointment as CEO, refuting reports that Altman was fired over AI safety concerns. He mentioned, “The board did not remove Sam because of a specific disagreement over security, their reasoning was completely different from that. »
Shear acknowledged the mishandling of the process and communication surrounding Altman’s firing, expressing concern about the damage to trust.
With the contribution of agencies