Days after being fired as OpenAI CEO, Sam Altman set to join Microsoft
OpenAI has also hired former Twitch chief Emmett Shear as its next CEO, disregarding calls from the investors to reinstate Altman
Days after ChatGPT maker OpenAI sacked him as its CEO, Sam Altman on Monday (November 20) joined tech giant Microsoft which invested $10 billion in OpenAI earlier this year making it a major investor in the firm with 49% stake.
Announcing Altman’s appointment, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella posted on X, “We remain committed to our partnership with OpenAI and have confidence in our product roadmap, our ability to continue to innovate with everything we announced at Microsoft Ignite, and in continuing to support our customers and partners.”
“We look forward to getting to know Emmett Shear and OAI's new leadership team and working with them. And 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,” the Microsoft CEO posted.
Prior to this, OpenAI hired former Twitch chief Emmett Shear as its next CEO, disregarding calls from the investors to reinstate Altman. OpenAI had on Friday dismissed Altman, saying it no longer had confidence in his ability to lead the Microsoft-backed AI firm.
Many quitting OpenAI in Altman's support
Meanwhile, high drama continues to unfold in the tech world as it is now confirmed that Altman isn’t returning to OpenAI as CEO. Media reports said that many employees are now leaving OpenAI in support of Altman, which will work in favour of rival companies. After the OpenAI board fired Altman last week, which sent shock waves across the tech industry, reports said the board came under severe pressure from investors and employees threatened to walk out.
Heavyweight backers of the company such as Microsoft and leading venture capital entities were also pushing for Altman to get back on the saddle at OpenAI. Soon after, Altman and former OpenAI president Greg Brockman were spotted at the OpenAI headquarters in San Francisco on Sunday. They were reportedly invited by OpenAI’s interim CEO Mira Murati, reported The Information. Altman even took to messaging platform X to post a photograph of himself wearing an OpenAI guest badge with the caption: “first and last time I ever wear one of these”.
This sparked off a lot of conversations around whether this changemaker in the world of generative AI will go back to OpenAI or go ahead and start his own AI venture.
OpenAI's former president and co-founder, Brockman, who had stepped down as board chairman the same day Altman was sacked, was also at the OpenAIoffice.
The sacking that rocked tech world
Thirty-eight-year-old Altman, who had co-founded OpenAI, had helped launch the popular ChatGPT bot, which led the company's valuation to shoot up to $80 to $90 billion. According to Altman, the platform has over 100 million users every week.
The OpenAI board fired him on Friday, after the company said in a statement that its board had “lost confidence in his ability to lead”. They also said “he was not consistently candid in his communications with the board, hindering its ability to exercise its responsibilities”.
However, according to reports, in a big turnaround, the board came under pressure and quickly began discussing his return.
Meanwhile, Altman who has not revealed much about his shocking dismissal called the entire episode as a “weird experience”. On Sunday, however, Altman tweeted that he loves the OpenAI team so much. To which the interim chief of OpenAI, Murati, responded with a heart emoji, which in turn received a heart emoji response from Greg Brockman.
Brockman, who had resigned hours after Altman’s dismissal was the one to reveal that Altman was informed of his sacking during a quick Google Meet call. Brockman too received a similar message and was informed over a call that he was removed from the board but he would retain his role in the company.
Altman had tweeted at that time: “I loved my time at OpenAI. It was transformative for me personally, and hopefully the world a little bit. Most of all, I loved working with such talented people”.