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Microsoft has hired Sam Altman, a couple of days after the OpenAI co-founder was fired from his own company. This move came shortly after Altman’s shocking departure from OpenAI that rocked the tech world. Sam Altman is one of the biggest names in the technology sector following the immense success of ChatGPT, which was launched in November last year.
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella shared the news on X, expressing immense excitement about Altman and Greg Brockman, another co-founder of OpenAI, along with several other managers from the AI company, leading a “new advanced AI research team” at Microsoft.
Nadella also mentioned the anticipation of familiarizing with the OpenAI new chief executive, Emmett Shear, former Twitter leader, who stepped in to replace Sam Altman.
In response to Nadella on X, Altman said, “The mission continues.”
Shear also shared on X to announce his appointment as OpenAI’s new CEO. In a post on Monday, he shared, “Today I received a call inviting me to consider a unique opportunity: to serve as the interim CEO of @OpenAI. After consulting with my family and reflecting on it for just a few hours, I accepted.” He also refuted that OpenAI fired Sam Altman due to concerns about AI’s dangers.
Shear stated, “Before accepting the role, I thoroughly investigated the reasons behind the change. The board did not remove Sam due to any specific safety-related disagreement; their rationale was entirely unrelated. I wouldn’t take on this responsibility without the board’s support for commercializing our impressive models.”
On Friday, OpenAI announced that Altman’s departure after a review revealed his “lack of consistent candor in communications” with the board of directors, which had lost confidence in Altman’s ability to lead OpenAI.
The board comprises Ilya Sutskever (Chief Scientist), Quora CEO Adam D’Angelo, tech entrepreneur Tasha McCauley, and Helen Toner of the Georgetown Center for Security and Emerging Technology.
However, a Wall Street research firm suggested tensions arose due to Altman’s efforts to advance product development.
In a research note on Monday, New Street Research stated, “These tensions likely led to challenging communications, with Sam making operational decisions without keeping the board fully informed. The coup and the cryptic blog post about Sam’s lack of candor in communications with the board, blocking its potential to exercise its duties, emerged from this situation.”
Ilya Sutskever on X regretted his participation in the decision to oust Sam Altman.
Altman propelled ChatGPT to global fame while serving as company CEO. Over the past year, it has emerged as a prominent voice in Silicon Valley on the benefits and risks associated with AI.
Last week, OpenAI announced that co-founder Brockman would step down as board chairman but continue as president. Subsequently, Brockman shared a post on X, reiterating a message he had sent to OpenAI employees, stating, “Based on today’s news, I quit.”
In a later X post on Friday night, Brockman recounted that Altman was invited to a video meeting with the company’s board, during which co-founder and chief scientist Ilya Sutskever conveyed the news of Altman’s termination.
Brockman further revealed that he received notice of his removal from the board in a call with Sutskever shortly after.
Brockman wrote on X, expressing their surprise and sadness at the board’s actions, “Sam and I are shocked and saddened by what the board did today.”
Some investors in OpenAI are considering legal action against the company’s Board, said Reuters, after its shocking decision.
Sources revealed that investors are collaborating with legal advisors to study their options. Investors are concerned about the potential loss of hundreds of millions of dollars invested in OpenAI, a highly valued asset in some of their portfolios, with the possible collapse of the hottest startup in the rapidly growing generative AI sector.