Microsoft is upping its AI game with the hiring of not one but two now-former executives of OpenAI.
Sam Altman was the former chief executive officer and founder of the ChatGPT parent company and became a new employee of Microsoft days after he was forced from the company he founded, The Associated Press reported.
Former OpenAI president Greg Brockman quit the company after Altman was fired. Brockman also has been picked up by Microsoft with both men leading Microsoft’s advanced AI research team.
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella wrote on social media that he was “extremely excited” to bring Brockman and Altman to the team, adding that he was looking “forward to getting to know” OpenAI’s new management.
Microsoft had been a partner of OpenAI and had invested billions of dollars in the company and vowed to remain in the partnership, Nadella wrote.
Microsoft had a 49% stake in OpenAI and was the largest investor, The Wall Street Journal reported.
Altman was removed from OpenAI after a review claimed he was “not consistently candid in his communications” with the company’s board of directors. They said they lost confidence in his ability to lead.
Emmitt Shear is the current interim C.E.O. and former C.E.O. of Twitch, who has vowed to investigate why Altman was forced out and will have a report from an independent investigator within 30 days. Shear replaced a different interim C.E.O. who had been named after Altman’s ouster on Friday but Mira Murati, the company’s chief technology officer, was removed on Sunday, the AP reported. She will be staying with OpenAI in her previous role, The Wall Street Journal reported.
Still, the damage may be done, with hundreds of OpenAI employees signing a letter demanding the board’s resignation and the return of Altman. He and the board had tried to negotiate his return, The Wall Street Journal reported, but they couldn’t come to a deal.
The AP said that OpenAI employs 770 and a majority of them apparently signed the letter. Wired reported that more than 600 people signed the letter, but the AP was not able to independently confirm the signatures belonged to OpenAI employees.
The letter read, according to Wired, “The process through which you terminated Sam Altman and removed Greg Brockman from the board has jeopardized all of this work and undermined our mission and company. Your conduct has made it clear you did not have the competence to oversee OpenAI.”