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As the weekend crisis at OpenAI ensued recruitment of Emmett Shear as interim CEO of the company, Microsoft made a strategic decision to engage in Sam Altman outgoing and a few other team members leaving for a new internal research group on advanced AI.
While much of the details remain under wraps, Satya Nadella, CEO of the tech giant, confirmed on X that Altman, Greg Brockman and their colleagues at OpenAI will all join and lead the new company. The decision to bring them into Microsoft came after the company’s failed attempt to reinstate Altman as CEO of OpenAI.
He also noted that Microsoft remains committed to its partnership with OpenAI and looks forward to “getting to know” and working with Shear and the company’s new leadership team. Microsoft has invested $13 billion in OpenAI.
OpenAI staff members resign after Sam Altman
Following the message from Nadella, Altman and Brockman taken at to confirm the change and see that their mission continues. Shortly after, several OpenAI staff members, including Mira Muratistarted posting “OpenAI is Nothing Without Its People” on his supporters to have him reinstated.
While it’s unclear whether all of these people quit and decided to join Altman’s new company, a report from The Information notes that dozens of internal employees announced they were quitting when the director of board of directors and chief scientist Ilya Sutskever told employees that Altman was going No return.
In a separate X job, Nadella confirmed that Altman will lead the new AI entity as CEO. Along with him and Brockman, other confirmed members in the initial leadership are former OpenAI research director Jakub Pachocki, former research scientist Szymon Sidor and former head of preparation Aleksander Madry.
The departures following Altman should shake up OpenAI but not its broader evolution. With Microsoft as a backer and partner (although perhaps a rather disappointed one), the company is expected to continue its work towards AGI.
The mass resignation should also give many of OpenAI’s competitors new talent to poach. For example, Elon Musk’s AI company, xAI, was recently do a search to this whole fiasco and sharing the positions he is recruiting for different roles.
Microsoft, for its part, may not have achieved the result it initially hoped for – with Altman returning as CEO, the company is still in the driver’s seat. He will continue the work done with OpenAI and launch planned features for its products and partners, while supporting an entirely new AI research team under his leadership. This will give the tech giant much easier access to the power of AI for its products, including Windows and Teams.
“We look forward to moving quickly to provide them with the resources they need to succeed,” Nadella noted in his message. This strategy of ending chaos by dynamically taking over two AI players is widespread. appreciated by the technology community.
That said, with Altman gone and new leadership at the helm, it remains to be seen how OpenAI stabilizes and performs in the space. More importantly, how confident the customers who will use its products will be in the days to come.
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