Sources at Microsoft claimed that Sam Altman still wanted to be the CEO of OpenAI, and that his supposed hiring at Microsoft was a ruse by Satya Nadella to protect Microsoft’s stock from plummeting. OpenAI investors and staff also want Altman as CEO
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and OpenAI investors, along with Sam Altman, want Altman to be CEO of OpenAI. Nadella’s job offer to Altman and Greg Brockman was aimed at preventing Microsoft shares from falling when the US market reopens on Monday (Tuesday in India), sources revealed.
Sam Altman, the ousted CEO of OpenAI, may not join Microsoft as originally planned. Multiple sources informed The Verge that Altman and co-founder Greg Brockman were willing to return to OpenAI, provided the board members responsible for Altman’s firing step down.
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella addressed the situation in recent interviews with CNBC and Bloomberg TV, saying that Altman’s employment at Microsoft and the potential migration of OpenAI’s 700 employees would be decisions left to the board of directors. administration, management and employees of OpenAI. Nadella emphasized Microsoft’s commitment to partnering with OpenAI, but indicated the need for governance changes within the organization.
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Regarding the composition of OpenAI’s board, Nadella mentioned on CNBC that discussions with the board would take place to resolve governance issues. He stressed the importance of transparency in decision-making, saying on Bloomberg that “surprises are bad” and that Microsoft would seek to make governance changes in the ongoing dialogue with OpenAI.
The recent announcement of Emmett Shear, co-founder of Twitch, as the new CEO of OpenAI has made the situation more complex. Altman, along with former chairman Brockman and the company’s investors, would seek an amicable solution with the board of directors. Microsoft’s hiring announcement is considered a temporary measure, called a “holding model,” while negotiations continue.
The reported mass exodus of OpenAI employees, including key figures like board member and chief scientist Ilya Sutskever, has intensified pressure on the board. Altman’s statement about X, expressing his commitment to working together in some capacity, suggests that conflict is ongoing.
Negotiations to reinstate Altman have reached an impasse, leading to parallel efforts by OpenAI’s management team and investors to identify potential replacements on the board. Despite this, the board of directors proceeded with a search for a CEO and announced Shear’s appointment on Sunday. Sutskever, who initially played a role in Altman’s removal, has since joined an open letter calling for the board’s resignation and Altman’s reinstatement.
Within OpenAI, there is reportedly a power struggle, with most employees opposing the current three-person board of directors. A general meeting scheduled for Sunday was reportedly boycotted by San Francisco employees, expressing their dissatisfaction with the new CEO. Employee social media posts indicate their commitment to maintaining the stability of services for OpenAI developers, perhaps as a way to pressure the board to resign.
New CEO Emmett Shear faced difficulty obtaining a detailed rationale for Altman’s firing, which was not shared with investors. Shear vowed to hire an independent investigator to examine the entire process that led to Altman’s firing.
In response to these developments, Altman, in another article X, highlighted the priority of ensuring the continued success of OpenAI. However, questions remain about whether joining Microsoft is compatible with more than 700 former OpenAI employees and how that aligns with OpenAI’s goal to thrive independently. Altman’s absence from Microsoft’s internal directory adds to the uncertainty surrounding the situation.