Microsoft has announced the hiring of OpenAI co-founders Sam Altman and Greg Brockman to lead a new advanced AI research team, according to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella. This move comes after Altman was unexpectedly dismissed by OpenAI’s board, which led to several other members, including Brockman, leaving the firm in protest.
Nadella revealed that Altman and Brockman will be joined by other colleagues who also left OpenAI over the weekend, indicating that Microsoft is actively recruiting talent from the company. He expressed the company’s eagerness to provide the necessary resources for their success, a sentiment that has been widely praised by tech entrepreneurs as a remarkable execution.
Despite Altman’s dismissal, Nadella affirmed Microsoft’s commitment to OpenAI, as the firm has invested over $10 billion in the startup and acquired nearly 50% ownership. Nadella emphasized that Microsoft will continue to support OpenAI and its product roadmap, as well as its customers and partners.
The decision to hire Altman and Brockman follows a tumultuous weekend where Altman was removed from his position at OpenAI by the board, ultimately leading to Brockman’s resignation as well. Although negotiations for their return to OpenAI were unsuccessful, the board appointed former Twitch CEO and co-founder Emmett Shear as the interim chief executive. OpenAI board declined to provide further comment.
Nadella expressed his confidence in Microsoft’s partnership with OpenAI and their ability to innovate, citing their recent announcements at Microsoft Ignite. He also expressed his anticipation to work with Shear and OpenAI’s new leadership team.
The OpenAI board cited Altman’s lack of consistency in being candid during conversations as the reason for his removal, although they did not provide further explanation. This decision has caused frustration among OpenAI employees, with many feeling that the board failed to justify their actions.
Further updates on this development are expected in the future.