In a surprising move, Microsoft Corporation announced the recruitment of Sam Altman, the co-founder and former CEO of OpenAI, just three days after Altman’s departure from OpenAI.
Chairman and CEO of Microsoft, Satya Nadella, has revealed on X that Altman, along with Greg Brockman and other undisclosed colleagues, will lead a new advanced AI research team at Microsoft.
Nadella expressed anticipation of providing the necessary resources for their success.
Nadella wrote: “We remain committed to our partnership with OpenAI and have confidence in our product roadmap, our ability to continue to innovate with everything we announced at Microsoft Ignite, and in continuing to support our customers and partners. We look forward to getting to know Emmett Shear and OAI’s new leadership team and working with them. And 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.
“I’m super excited to have you join as CEO of this new group, Sam, setting a new pace for innovation. 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’m looking forward to having you do the same.”
Sam Altman, co-founder and former CEO of OpenAI, was dismissed from his position by the board of the company on Friday.
In response, Chief Technology Officer Mira Murati was appointed as the interim CEO to lead OpenAI while a search is underway to identify a permanent successor.
The board’s decision to remove Altman was based on a review process that found he was not consistently candid in his communications with the board, impeding its ability to fulfill its responsibilities, leading to a loss of confidence in his leadership.
Murati, having been part of OpenAI’s leadership team for five years, is deemed uniquely qualified for the interim role.
In a statement, the board of directors said: “OpenAI was deliberately structured to advance our mission: to ensure that artificial general intelligence benefits all humanity. The board remains fully committed to serving this mission. We are grateful for Sam’s many contributions to the founding and growth of OpenAI. At the same time, we believe new leadership is necessary as we move forward. As the leader of the company’s research, product, and safety functions, Mira is exceptionally qualified to step into the role of interim CEO. We have the utmost confidence in her ability to lead OpenAI during this transition period.”
As part of the transition, Greg Brockman, who served as chairman of the board at OpenAI, will step down from that role and continue in his position at the company, reporting to the CEO.
OpenAI, originally founded as a non-profit in 2015 with the mission of ensuring that artificial general intelligence benefits humanity, underwent a restructuring in 2019 to enable it to raise capital while preserving its non-profit mission, governance, and oversight.
The board, which includes independent directors Adam D’Angelo, Tasha McCauley, and Helen Toner, maintains its responsibility to advance OpenAI’s mission and uphold the principles of its Charter.