Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella announced the appointment of former OpenAI Chief Sam Altman and former President Greg Brockman to lead a new team for advanced research in Artificial Intelligence. In a post on X, formerly Twitter, Mr Nadella wrote, “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.”
He added, “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.” Reacting to the same, Mr Altman said, “the mission continues.”
the mission continues https://t.co/d1pHiFxcSe
— Sam Altman (@sama) November 20, 2023
The news of his appointment comes after OpenAI, the company behind ChatGPT, rejected pressure from Microsoft and other major investors to reverse its decision to fire the CEO. The company’s board also appointed Emmett Shear, a former chief executive of Amazon’s Twitch streaming service, as the interim CEO.
In a memo sent to staff members on Sunday night, the board reaffirmed their choice, citing it as “the only path to advance and defend the mission of OpenAI,” according to The New York Times. “Put simply, Sam’s behaviour and lack of transparency in his interactions with the board undermined the board’s ability to effectively supervise the company in the manner it was mandated to do,” they said.
Sam Altman was open to coming back but wanted to see governance changes, including the removal of current board members, as per Bloomberg. They said he also asked for a statement clearing him of any misconduct. The board first agreed in principle to resign after facing tremendous outcry over the removal, but they haven’t done so formally as of yet. The directors have been vetting candidates for new directors. The rapid management change that followed Mr Altman’s dismissal infuriated both present and former employees, who were concerned about how it may impact an impending $86 billion share sale.
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