OpenAI Employees Reject Salesforce CEO’s Job Offer: “We’re With Sam Altman”
Marc Benioff, the CEO of Salesforce, made a job offer on X (formerly Twitter) to any OpenAI researcher who quits following the removal of Sam Altman. Benioff stated in a detailed post that Salesforce would match the full cash and open trade equity (OTE) of researchers who leave OpenAI to join the Salesforce Einstein Trusted AI research team under Silvio Savarese.
This offer came after more than 700 of OpenAI’s approximately 770 employees signed a letter addressed to OpenAI’s board, expressing their inability to work with individuals lacking competence, judgment, and care for the company’s mission and employees. The letter called for the resignation of every board member and the reinstatement of Altman. Otherwise, employees threatened to join Microsoft, as the company had assured them of available positions.
However, Benioff’s generous offer received only a few takers. He posted on X, “Salesforce will match any OpenAI researcher who has tendered their resignation full cash & equity OTE to immediately join our Salesforce Einstein Trusted AI research team under Silvio Savarese. Send me your cv directly to email@example.com.”
Tony Wu from OpenAI reacted to the offer, calling it super generous but rejecting it in favor of sticking with Sam Altman and OpenAI co-founder Greg Brockman. Another employee, Steven Heidel, responded humorously by saying, “Listen, I love Slack but the company that builds Tableau isn’t going to build AGI.”
Boris Power, Head of Applied Research at OpenAI, explained that their decision to stay was not based on compensation. He stated, “Lol, like it was ever about compensation. We got >95% in less than 24 hours, and the compensation never crossed my mind! Can you give us 700 of our amazing colleagues, then we may budge.”
Altman’s firing from OpenAI left Silicon Valley shocked, with both the investor community and OpenAI staff furious at the four-person board for hindering progress in the AI field. Altman’s departure also raises uncertainties for OpenAI and its employees. Thrive Capital, expected to lead an offer for employee shares, had not yet wired the money as of this weekend and stated that Altman’s exit would impact their actions.
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