Microsoft has extended an offer to compensate employees transitioning from the troubled OpenAI to Microsoft.
The controversial dismissal of Sam Altman as CEO last Friday resulted in a job offer to lead “a new advanced AI research team” at Microsoft.
Almost every OpenAI employee has issued a resignation threat unless he and co-founder Greg Brockman are reinstated.
Uncertain at this time is whether Mr. Altman will ultimately become a shareholder of Microsoft, by any means the largest investor in OpenAI.
Evan Morikawa, an engineering manager at OpenAI, claims 743 of 770 employees signed a letter asking board resignation. Furthermore, staff members have threatened to depart if their demands are not fulfilled.
They claimed in their letter that they had received employment offers from Microsoft; the company’s Chief Technology Officer, Kevin Scott, has since confirmed this, assuring employees that they will be hired “if necessary” in a position that “matches their compensation.”
Mr. Altman’s future is also questionable, as Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella told CNBC that he was “committed to OpenAI and Sam, regardless of configuration,” adding that he was “potentially not joining.”
He stated, “Obviously, that depends on whether the OpenAI staff remains there or moves to Microsoft. Therefore, I am open to both possibilities.”
Mr. Nadella told CNBC on Monday that “something must change” at OpenAI, the developer of the ChatGPT chatbot. He did not specify what that change would entail or rule out the tech behemoth being appointed to the board.
Despite substantial financial investment in the company and extensive utilization of its technology in various products, Microsoft does not presently maintain any connections with OpenAI within its boardroom.
Mr. Nadella said it’s evident that governance must change now.
On this, we will have an informed discussion with their board.
The CEO of Microsoft’s composed disposition during a series of interviews with the media stands in stark contrast to the commotion within OpenAI, where employees are openly protesting the departure of Mr. Altman.
They’ve requested his return and the board’s dismissal, but the former CEO’s whereabouts are unclear.
Nathan Benaich, an AI investor at Air Street Capital, welcomed Mr. Nadella’s efforts after Mr. Altman’s dismissal.
“This is extraordinary deal-making,” he remarked.
Microsoft has assumed a position that is even more persuasive. It has two OpenAI executives, financial resources to attract talent, and a $50 billion massive computer infrastructure.
This exceeds the scope of several highly ambitious research initiatives funded by the government.
The instant of shear
After Mr. Altman’s unexpected resignation, OpenAI’s interim head is Emmett Shear.
Years ago, the two individuals encountered each other while participating in the start-up investment programme Y Combinator; a viral photograph of them together was circulating on social media as part of a group.
Several others are featured in the photograph; among them is Aaron Swartz, a prominent internet freedom activist and early developer of the website Reddit who passed away in 2013. Swartz went on to have a prosperous career in technology.
Mr. Shear led the successful gaming website Twitch to become the preeminent live-streaming platform on the planet. This occurred prior to its 2014 sale to Amazon for an estimated $970 million (£774 million).
He continued to serve as Amazon’s CEO until March 2023 when he resigned to attend to his newborn son.
His Microsoft criticism tweets after leaving the firm have received online scrutiny.