ChatGPT founder moves to rival US tech giant

Lazy eyes listen


Sam Altman, the former CEO of AI powerhouse OpenAI, is joining Microsoft to manage a “new advanced AI research team,” according to Satya Nadella, CEO of the computer giant.

Greg Brockman, the previous president of OpenAI who resigned after Altman was sacked on Friday, has also joined Microsoft to work in the new division.

Nadella stated that Microsoft is “extremely excited” to announce the hiring of Altman and Brockman, “along with colleagues” who also left OpenAI following the CEO’s tumultuous dismissal.

OpenAI was believed to be looking to rehire Altman after what was widely reported as a messy ouster on Friday. He was spotted at the company’s headquarters on Sunday, where it was speculated that he was discussing the terms of his return, which would include a restructuring of the board that had fired him. Microsoft, the ChatGPT developer’s main financial backer, apparently won out instead.

While the facts surrounding Altman’s dismissal from OpenAI are unknown, the company’s board stated in a statement on Friday that the tech leader had not been “consistently candid” in his interactions with them, hampered the board’s ability to do its job.

Brockman blamed the CEO’s departure on a disagreement with OpenAI’s research section, overseen by co-founder and chief scientist Ilya Sutskever, in a post on X on Friday, admitting he and Altman were “still trying to figure out exactly what happened” leading up to the CEO’s ouster.

Sutskever summoned Altman to a board meeting on Friday, he said, and told him “he was being fired and that the news was going out very soon.” Brockman also received a meeting summons from Sutskever, who informed him that he was being removed as chairman and that Altman had been dismissed. Despite Sutskever’s assurances that he was “vital to the company and would retain his role,” Brockman resigned.

Insiders told CNN that there was a schism between Altman, who wanted to accelerate AI product development, and the board, which wanted to prioritise caution – with Altman’s cautious public tone not matching his actions behind the scenes. Altman just announced that OpenAI would be releasing a way for anyone to create their own ChatGPT-like chatbot was reportedly “an inflection moment of Altman pushing too far, too fast” for Sutskever and the board. 

Microsoft owns a $13 billion share in OpenAI and uses the company’s technology to power its Bing chatbot. Like Altman himself, the company did not learn the CEO was fired until “just before” it was announced publicly. 

Meanwhile, OpenAI hired former Twitch CEO Emmett Shear as interim CEO on Monday, taking over from the company’s chief technology officer Mira Murati, who had been named interim CEO following Altman’s ouster.