Sam Altman joins Microsoft as OpenAI hires its third CEO in 3 days


Microsoft has appointed Sam Altman to advance its AI innovation after he was co-founder of OpenAI He was ousted as CEO in A chaotic coup in the board of directors Friday. Meanwhile, ChatGPT will have its third CEO within three days.

It’s another big change in the balance of power over artificial intelligence, the most significant new technology in decades.

Greg Brockman, co-founder of OpenAI, is also joining Microsoft (MSFT) – The largest financial supporter of the startup company. Brockman resigned as president of OpenAI after Altman’s firing.

Emmett Shear, former CEO of Amazon’s Twitch streaming service, will join OpenAI as interim CEO. He replaces Mira Moratti, who was named interim CEO when Altman was fired. She will return to her role as CTO at OpenAI.

“We look forward to getting to know Emmett Shear,” Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella He said this in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter. “And we are very excited to share the news that Sam Altman and Greg Brockman, along with their colleagues, will join Microsoft to lead a new advanced AI research team.”

With its $13 billion investment, Microsoft is the largest shareholder in OpenAI. Nadella said in his position that Altman will be CEO of the new group. Microsoft shares rose about 2% in pre-market trading on Monday.

Altman’s move to Microsoft capped a weekend of feverish speculation that OpenAI’s board could usher in a radical turnaround and rehire the prominent Silicon Valley entrepreneur and investor. In an open letter Monday morning, Hundreds of OpenAI employees He called for the resignation of OpenAI’s board of directors, accused it of mishandling Altman’s dismissal, and threatened to resign and move to Microsoft with Altman.

Following the announcement of his move to Microsoft on Monday, Altman posted on X: “We have more unity, commitment and focus than ever before. We’re all going to work together in one way or another, and I’m very excited. One team, one mission.”

He also praised the OpenAI leadership team, including Moratti. “[They] “We did an amazing job with this, which will go down in the history books,” Altman told Channel X.

Altman spent Sunday at OpenAI headquarters, Posting on X Photo of himself holding a green guest badge attached to a lanyard labeled “OpenAI.” “First and last time I’ll wear one of these,” he wrote. Multiple news outlets, incl Wall Street Journal And The New York Timesstated that the board that fired Altman had other ideas and reached out to him and Brockman to discuss their return.

The new face(s) of artificial intelligence

In a post on X early Monday, Scheer described the opportunity to join OpenAI as a “once in a lifetime” opportunity.

“I took this job because I believe OpenAI is one of the most important companies out there today. When the board informed me of the situation and asked me to take on this role, I did not take the decision lightly,” he added.

Cher left his position as CEO of Twitch in March. In his post on

“Ultimately, I felt it was my duty to help if I could,” Scheer said.

But Scheer also noted that he is taking over a company with a very bad reputation after Altman’s botched firing and a whirlwind weekend in which it flirted with the return of its just-ousted CEO. This process “was handled very poorly, which severely damaged our confidence,” Scheer said.

He said the company would hire an independent investigator to report on what happened in the lead-up to Altman’s firing. Scheer did not go into detail about why Altman was fired, but said it was not related to concerns about Altman leading the company in an unsafe direction or opposition to his efforts to make money.

“The board did not fire Sam over any specific safety disagreement, and their reasoning was very different from that,” Shear said. “I’m not crazy enough to take on this job without the board’s support to market our amazing models.”

Based on the investigation’s findings and discussions with other stakeholders, Scheer said he will make “significant” changes to OpenAI next month.

“OpenAI’s stability and success are too important to be allowed to be disrupted in this way by disruptions,” he said.

As CEO, he will have to work with Altman, Brockman and other former OpenAI employees who have resigned and will move to Microsoft, the startup’s largest strategic partner. He will also have to work with Moratti, who praised Altman on his way out, and who — like many OpenAI employees, including some who resigned in protest of his firing — Published on X Monday That “OpenAI is nothing without its employees.”

Altman remained mostly quiet about his firing and hiring over the weekend. On Monday morning, in response to Nadella He said“The mission continues.”

“I am very excited to have you join as CEO of this new group, Sam, setting a new pace for innovation.” Nadella posted a response. “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 look forward to doing the same.”

Moving too fast?

Details of Altman’s firing remain vague. In its announcement on Friday, OpenAI claimed that Altman had not been sufficiently “candid” with the board, which hindered the board’s ability to carry out its responsibilities.

This mysterious language sent the rumor mill to the skies. But Brockman He gave live details directly In a post on X.

He said Altman found out he would be fired just minutes before the company announced the news. Brockman noted that Altman was fired over a disagreement with the company’s research department, led by another co-founder and chief scientist Ilya Sutskever.

A key factor was tension between Altman, who favored more aggressive AI development, and OpenAI board members, who wanted to move more cautiously, according to CNN contributor Kara Swisher, who spoke to sources familiar with the crisis.

Altman was privately pressing the company to bring products to market more quickly and sell them for a profit. However, Altman has long publicly warned of the dangers posed by AI.

“He is [AI] Will it be like the printing press, which spread knowledge, power, and learning widely across the landscape, which empowered ordinary individuals, which led to greater prosperity, and which led above all to greater freedom? He said on the Senate floor in May Subcommittee hearing Pressure for regulation. “Or will it be more like an atomic bomb…?”

Meanwhile, Altman told OpenAI to put his foot firmly on the gas pedal.

The startup’s executives and iPhone designer Jony Ive have reportedly been in talks to raise $1 billion from Japan’s SoftBank for an AI device to replace the smartphone. OpenAI received a multi-billion-dollar investment commitment from Microsoft as part of a partnership that included rapidly deploying ChatGPT-like technology across Microsoft’s Bing search engine and other products.

More recently, Altman announced that OpenAI will make its tools widely available so anyone can create their own version of ChatGPT.

Microsoft was not informed of Altman’s firing until “just before” the public announcement, and employees were given no advance warning, Swisher said.

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