Sam Altman was welcomed by Satya Nadella as the CEO of a Windows research group
Open AI's former CEO Sam Altman and former president Greg Brockman are joining Microsoft to lead a new team for advanced research in Artificial Intelligence, Satya Nadella announced today. This comes days after Altman was fired from OpenAI, a company he co-founded.
Announcing Microsoft's move, Nadella posted on X, "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."
"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," he added.
Nadella's post was shared by Altman with the message, "The mission continues."
Nadella added that Altman will be joining the research group as its CEO. "I'm super excited to have you join as CEO of this new group, Sam, setting a new pace for innovation. We've learned a lot over the years about how to give founders and innovators space to build independent identities and cultures within Microsoft, including GitHub, Mojang Studios, and LinkedIn, and I'm looking forward to having you do the same," he said in reply to Altman's "mission continues" post.
Altman, the face of OpenAI that created the revolutionary ChatGPT, was fired over a Google Meet call Friday, according to a post on X by Brockman. The next day, Brockman was told over a separate Google Meet call that he was being removed from the board but would retain his role because he was "vital to the company".
Both decisions, Brockman said in his post, were conveyed by Ilya Sutskever, co-founder and Chief Scientist at OpenAI. "Sam and I are shocked and saddened by what the board did today," Brockman said in his post Saturday. He announced that he had quit the company.
Responding to Nadella's announcement, Brockman posted, "We are going to build something new & it will be incredible."
A statement from Microsoft-backed OpenAI said Altman's departure follows a "deliberative review process by the board, which concluded that he was not consistently candid in his communications with the board, hindering its ability to exercise its responsibilities". "The board no longer has confidence in his ability to continue leading OpenAI," the statement added.
The move shocked the tech industry. Soon after, US media reports claimed that major investors in OpenAI wanted Altman to return and had started efforts to reach out to him. The attempts to bring him back, reports said, hit a roadblock after Altman demanded sweeping changes, including the removal of current board members, as a condition to return.
OpenAI, meanwhile, is set to welcome Emmett Shear as its new CEO. Shear, who has earlier led Twitch, announced his decision to accept the role. "I took this job because I believe that OpenAI is one of the most important companies currently in existence. When the board shared the situation and asked me to take the role, I did not make the decision lightly. Ultimately I felt that I had a duty to help if I could," he said in a post.