OpenAI’s board of directors has reportedly approached Anthropic’s CEO, Dario Amodei, about replacing their current chief, Sam Altman. In addition, there have been discussions about the possibility of merging the two AI startups. However, Amodei declined both offers, according to sources familiar with the matter.
This news, initially reported by The Information on Monday, comes after several reports emerged regarding the search for Altman’s successor following his ousting by OpenAI’s board. When approached for comments, OpenAI declined to provide any information, and board member Adam D’Angelo did not respond immediately to the request.
In response to the leadership vacuum, the board extended an offer to former Twitch CEO, Emmett Shear, to serve as interim chief, which he accepted. Meanwhile, Altman has agreed to join Microsoft, one of OpenAI’s backers, along with other key personnel from the startup. This development has led to a significant backlash, with almost all of OpenAI’s more than 700 employees threatening to quit, including one of its executives who is currently on the four-person board.
Interestingly, the co-founders of Anthropic, who were previously executives at OpenAI until 2020, left the company due to disagreements over the safe development and governance of AI. Anthropic has secured investments from major tech players such as Google and Amazon.com. Their AI models, known as Claude, have been competing with OpenAI’s popular GPT series.
This report was compiled by Jeffrey Dastin in San Francisco and Urvi Dugar in Bengaluru. It has been edited by Nivedita Bhattacharjee and Sam Holmes.