Hundreds of OpenAI employees, including top executives and senior staff, are contemplating leaving the company to join Microsoft
Gatekeepers News reports that following the shocking dismissal of OpenAI co-founder, Sam Altman, some of OpenAI’s most senior staff members have threatened to leave the company if the board did not get replaced.
They threatened to follow Sam Altman, who is now spearheading an AI subsidiary at Microsoft.
The discontented staff, led by figures like Ilya Sutskever and Mira Murati issued a letter demanding a change in the company’s board, accusing them of incompetence.
“Your actions have made it obvious that you are incapable of overseeing OpenAI,” said the letter, which was first released to Wired.
The letter revealed that Microsoft has offered positions to all OpenAI employees at the new subsidiary, heightening the potential exodus. With reports indicating that up to 500 out of 770 employees have signed the letter, OpenAI faces a significant internal upheaval.
Despite pressure from Microsoft and major investors, OpenAI appointed Emmett Shear, former CEO of Amazon’s Twitch, as the new CEO. The decision, however, contradicts calls to reinstate Altman. The board’s concerns about Altman underestimating the dangers of AI technology and deviating from the company’s mission were cited as reasons for his dismissal.
While Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella welcomed Altman and his colleagues to lead a new AI research team, OpenAI defended its decision, citing Sam’s behaviour and lack of transparency as undermining the board’s ability to supervise effectively.
In response to the controversy, Shear clarified that Altman’s removal was not related to safety concerns regarding AI but acknowledged the mishandling of the process and communication, leading to a damaged trust within the organization.
Microsoft, having invested over $10 billion in OpenAI, expressed confidence in the new leadership team, emphasizing its commitment to the partnership. The upheaval adds a layer of complexity to the competitive landscape, as OpenAI competes with tech giants like Google and Meta, along with emerging startups, in the development of AI models like ChatGPT, raising concerns about the potential misuse of generative AI technology.