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Tuesday May 21, 2024

Microsoft hires former OpenAI CEO Sam Altman days after sacking

Altman’s Microsoft hiring comes hours after negotiations with OpenAI’s board failed to bring him back as CEO

By Web Desk
November 20, 2023
Sam Altman, CEO of OpenAI, speaks during The Wall Street Journals WSJ Tech Live Conference in Laguna Beach, California on October 17, 2023. — AFP
Sam Altman, CEO of OpenAI, speaks during The Wall Street Journal's WSJ Tech Live Conference in Laguna Beach, California on October 17, 2023. — AFP 

Sam Altman, who was fired as the CEO of ChatGPT creator OpenAI over the weekend, is set to join Microsoft to lead a new team focused on artificial intelligence, the tech giant has announced.

Despite negotiations over the weekend to potentially bring Altman back to OpenAI, Microsoft CEO and Chairman Satya Nadella on Monday announced on X, formerly Twitter, that Altman, fellow OpenAI co-founder Greg Brockman and other former OpenAI employees will oversee a “new advanced AI research team” at the company.

Additionally, Nadella said Microsoft looked forward to working with OpenAI’s new leadership team, including interim CEO Emmett Shear, and remained committed to its partnership with the AI startup, in which it has reportedly invested $13 billion, according to Al Jazeera.

After Altman's sudden sacking on Friday, which sent shockwaves across the tech industry, Brockman took to X announcing his resignation from his position as the OpenAI's president.

This move marks another significant step for Microsoft in its pursuit of cutting-edge AI technologies and talent.

Altman’s Microsoft hiring comes just hours after negotiations with OpenAI’s board failed to bring him back as OpenAI CEO as the company's four-person board refused to step down and let him return.

Instead, former Twitch CEO and co-founder Emmett Shear was named as interim CEO of the company, taking over from Mira Murati, who was named interim OpenAI CEO following Altman's sudden sacking firing on Friday.

Although OpenAI has not officially announced Shear's employment, it is likely to do so soon given Microsoft's recent hiring of Altman.

Altman posted on Sunday on messaging platform X an image of himself wearing an OpenAI guest badge with the caption: "First and last time I ever wear one of these."

Altman's sacking angered current and former employees and worried them over how an upcoming $86 billion share sale could be affected by the sudden management upheaval.

OpenAI's former president and co-founder, Brockman also arrived at the office on Sunday, The Information reported.

Before the announcement of Altman and Brockman's hiring by Microsoft, The Information had reported that if Altman returned to OpenAI, Microsoft, its biggest backer, was considering taking a role on the board.

Microsoft could either take a seat on OpenAI's board of directors or as a board observer without voting power, the report added earlier.