Ousted by OpenAI, Sam Altman To Helm Microsoft's 'Advanced' AI Research Team

Meanwhile, OpenAI has tapped former Twitch boss Emmett Shear as interim CEO.

Tech News
2 min read
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ChatGPT crusader and OpenAI co-founder Sam Altman is no longer out of a job.

The latest: Altman will be leading Microsoft's "new advanced AI research team," the big tech company's CEO Satya Nadella confirmed in a post on X on Monday, 20 November.

  • Greg Brockman, who used to be OpenAI's president and had followed Altman out the door, was also tapped by Microsoft.

  • "We’re extremely excited to share the news that Sam Altman and Greg Brockman, together with colleagues, will be joining Microsoft to lead a new advanced AI research team. We look forward to moving quickly to provide them with the resources needed for their success," Nadella said.

Why it matters: Altman's move to Microsoft comes just days after he was abruptly fired by OpenAI's board of directors for not being "consistently candid in his communications with the board."

Of note: Microsoft is OpenAI's biggest investor, betting over $13 billion dollars so far on the ChatGPT developer.

What else? Nadella also confirmed that Emmett Shear, former CEO and co-founder of video game streaming platform Twitch, will temporarily take over the reins at OpenAI.

  • "We look forward to getting to know Emmett Shear and OAI's new leadership team and working with them," Nadella said.

  • After Altman's sudden exit, the board had named the AI company's Chief Technology Officer (CTO) Mira Murati as interim CEO – a position she held for four days.

Falling in: Over 505 OpenAI employees have called for the board to resign, in a letter posted by tech journalist Kara Swisher on X on Monday.

  • "We, the undersigned, may choose to resign from OpenAI and join the newly announced Microsoft subsidiary run by Sam Altman and Greg Brockman," the letter read.

  • "Microsoft has assured us that there are positions for all OpenAI employees at this new subsidiary should we choose to join," it added.


Some history: Founded in 2015, OpenAI started out as a non-profit venture with Elon Musk as one of its co-chairs. But the Tesla boss quit the group in 2018, citing a conflict of interest.

  • In 2019, the company transitioned from a non-profit model to a 'capped-profit' business model.

Since then, OpenAI has become known for kick-starting the pandemonium around generative AI tools after releasing its wildly popular ChatGPT chatbot in 2022. Besides the Large Language Model (LLM), OpenAI is also the tech company behind the text-to-image AI generator called DALL-E.

Bonus: In April this year, OpenAI raised $300 million from venture capitalists and was valued between $27-$29 billion dollars, according to TechCrunch.

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