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600 employees of OpenAI protest ouster of ex-CEO Sam Altman, now employed by Microsoft

shutterstock_2366323225116135
shutterstock_2366323225116135

A letter signed by nearly 600 employees at OpenAI is calling for the resignation of the company’s board and the return of former CEO Sam Altman – who was hired by Microsoft just days after being ousted at OpenAI.  According to a copy of the letter, the employees are threatening to quit and join Microsoft if their demands were not met. Included among the signees was company board member Mira Murati, who briefly served as interim CEO after the departure of Altman.  OpenAI has since hired former Twitch CEO Emmett Shear as its interim CEO, replacing executive Murati days after internally appointing her to the role. Shear confirmed his new role at OpenAI in a post Monday on X.

Addressed to OpenAI board members, the letter states: “Your conduct has made it clear you did not have the competence to oversee OpenAI … We, the undersigned, may choose to resign from OpenAI and join the newly announced Microsoft subsidiary run by Sam Altman and Greg Brockman. Microsoft has assured us that there are positions for all OpenAI employees at this new subsidiary should we choose to join. We will take this step imminently, unless all current board members resign, and the board appoints two new lead independent directors.”

Greg Brockman, the former president of OpenAI who resigned from the company soon after the departure of Altman, will also be joining the newly created AI team at Microsoft. In a separate post, Brockman announced the leadership of the new AI department at Microsoft, which appeared to include several recent employees at OpenAI: “We are going to build something new & it will be incredible.”

OpenAI said in a statement on Friday that the departure of Altman followed a review process undertaken by the company’s board of directors, who concluded that Altman “was not consistently candid in his communications with the board” However, Ilya Sutskever — a longtime AI researcher and co-founder of OpenAI who was involved in the exit of Altman – has since expressed remorse about his ouster. Sutskever posted on X on Monday: “I deeply regret my participation in the board’s actions. I never intended to harm OpenAI. I love everything we’ve built together and I will do everything I can to reunite the company.”

Editorial credit: jamesonwu1972 / Shutterstock.com

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