OpenAI execs are reportedly having “intense discussions” on how to prevent a staff exodus following the surprise ouster of CEO Sam Altman — who has since accepted a gig at Microsoft.
On Monday, more than 700 of the startup behind ChatGPT’s 770 staff signed a letter threatening to quit if the board doesn’t reinstate Altman. That prompted OpenAI’s Vice President of Global Affairs, Anna Makanju, to deliver an internal memo attempting to rally the company’s workforce, according to Bloomberg, which reviewed the message.
Makanju assured that OpenAI’s management is in touch with Altman, Shear and the board, “but they are not prepared to give us a final response this evening,” she wrote, per Bloomberg.
The extent of OpenAI’s discussions with Altman — or if they involved giving the 38-year-old AI whiz his job back — remains unclear.
Over the weekend, OpenAI’s board named former Twitch boss Emmett Shear the ChatGPT maker’s interim CEO, capping a dizzying three days of executive shuffling at the artificial intelligence firm that also saw Greg Brockman, Altman’s close ally and the company’s president, jumping ship to Microsoft too.
Representatives for OpenAI did not immediately respond to The Post’s request for comment.
Altman may not even want his old position back, as he’s already been offered a cozy CEO role leading a new artificial intelligence research team over at Microsoft, OpenAI’s largest investor.
In his new position, Altman will still be able to work with OpenAI, which is currently engaged in a $10 billion “multiyear” partnership with Microsoft. “Satya and my top priority remains to ensure openai continues to thrive,” Altman posted to X on Monday.
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has echoed the sentiment in his own posts: “We remain committed to our partnership with OpenAI,” he tweeted on Monday — the same day he gave his first interview since Altman’s ouster, which shook Silicon Valley.
Speaking to CNBC, Nadella left the door open for more OpenAI staffers to nab a job at Microsoft.
Nadella said it’s up to all employees whether they stay in their current roles or accept a new position at Microsoft. “I’m open to both options,” he told CNBC.
No matter where staffers end up, “I think it’s very clear that something has to change around the governance,” Nadella told the outlet.
He added that Microsoft would have “a good dialogue with their [OpenAI’s] board on that.”
The Post has sought comment from Microsoft.