OpenAI board faces growing revolt over Sam Altman’s ousting
OpenAI Board Faces Growing Revolt Over Sam Altman’s Ousting
Revolt Among Staff and Investors
OpenAI has been thrown into chaos after a failed coup ousted CEO Sam Altman, leading to a growing revolt among staff and investors. The unrest has resulted in a call for the resignation of three directors by employees who claim that the directors had “undermined our mission and company” by their actions. This marks a stunning turnaround for a group that was once seen as a global leader in the development and commercialization of artificial intelligence technology.
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Unrest and Uncertainty
The failed coup and subsequent ousting of Altman has left the future of OpenAI in doubt. The board’s decision to fire Altman and his co-founder Greg Brockman has led to a mass exodus of employees, with 747 out of 770 calling on the board to quit. The company’s future is now uncertain, with Microsoft stepping in to hire Altman and Brockman to lead a new AI unit.
Board’s Response and Rival Actions
OpenAI’s board has faced criticism for its handling of the situation, with some of its most prominent venture investors expressing hope for Altman’s return. Rivals are also attempting to take advantage of the company’s disarray, with Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff publicly offering to hire OpenAI researchers.
Microsoft, OpenAI’s largest investor, has committed more than $10 billion in capital and infrastructure credits to the company and has embedded OpenAI’s powerful generative AI tools into its own software. Despite the upheaval, Microsoft remains committed to working with OpenAI and looks forward to collaborating with its new leadership team.
As OpenAI grapples with internal turmoil, the future of the company remains uncertain. The stock sale, which was expected to give the company a valuation of $86 billion, is now in the balance. Altman’s ouster has left many questions unanswered, with the exact reasons for his removal still unclear.
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OpenAI has faced a growing revolt among staff and investors calling for the resignation of three directors after a failed coup ousted CEO Sam Altman from the world’s largest artificial intelligence company.
Employees said in a letter to the board that the directors had “undermined our mission and company” by their actions. fired Altman and his co-founder Greg Brockman on Friday. One person with direct knowledge of the matter said 747 of the 770 employees had called on the board to quit at 6pm local time on Monday. OpenAI did not respond to confirm the figure.
The unrest marks a stunning turnaround for a group that catapulted generative AI into the mainstream with the launch of its ChatGPT chatbot nearly a year ago. Until last week, OpenAI was seen as the global leader in the development and commercialization of the technology, which has attracted billions of dollars in investment and is disrupting businesses around the world. Now its future is in doubt.
After failed calls to recover Altman On Sunday, demanding the board’s resignation as the price for its return, OpenAI’s board instead turned to Emmett Shear, co-founder of video streaming service Twitch, as interim director. Microsoft, the software company that is OpenAI’s largest investor, announced that it has hired Altman and Brockman to lead a new AI unit.
Altman indicated Monday that he expected OpenAI to endure and was working with Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella to secure the startup’s future.
“(W)e are committed to providing full continuity of operations to our partners and customers (and) the OpenAI/Microsoft partnership makes this very much possible,” Altman wrote on X. It was “one team, one mission ,” said the 38-year-old entrepreneur.
In an interview with Bloomberg on Monday, Nadella could not say who would become OpenAI’s CEO on Tuesday, but said he would leave the decision “up to OpenAI and its board.”
He added that Altman could continue his side projects while working at Microsoft. Altman has a fission company and a cryptocurrency project and has tried to start a device company and a chip company, according to people with knowledge of the matter. “We will go through the governance aspects of it,” Nadella said.
The hundreds of OpenAI employees who signed Monday’s letter said they had been offered positions in the new unit at Microsoft, and “will take this step immediately unless all current board members resign and the board appoints two new lead, independent directors.”
Altman and Brockman were fired by the four other members of the board on Friday. On Monday, one of those board members, Ilya Sutskever, joined the employees.
Sutskever, OpenAI’s chief scientist, signed the staff letter after initially apologizing on social media for his role in firing Altman.
“I deeply regret my participation in the board’s actions,” he wrote on X. “It was never my intention to harm OpenAI. I love everything we have built together and I will do everything I can to reunite the company.”
The other remaining directors are Adam D’Angelo, the CEO of Quora; technology entrepreneur Tasha McCauley; and Helen Toner of the Center for Security and Emerging Technology.
Some of OpenAI’s most prominent venture investors held out hope that Altman would return. The company’s board had made a “serious miscalculation,” early OpenAI backer Vinod Khosla wrote in a scathing editorial in The Information on Monday. Khosla later called on Shear to resign.
“Every problem has a solution,” Josh Kushner, founder of Thrive Capital, wrote on would be completed in the coming years. coming weeks. That sale, an opportunity for its workforce to benefit from OpenAI’s success, is expected to give the company a valuation of $86 billion, people with knowledge of the plans said.
The stock sale was now in the balance, with the weekend’s drama marking a material change in circumstances but still able to go ahead when Altman returned, a person with knowledge of the situation said.
Rivals, meanwhile, are trying to take advantage of the company’s disarray. In a social media post on Monday, Marc Benioff, CEO of software company Salesforce, asked OpenAI researchers to send him their resumes and offered to match their salaries.
The exact reason for Altman’s ouster remains unclear, with OpenAI’s board saying only that he had not been “consistently forthright.” One person with direct knowledge of the board’s decision said that “the board reached the point where they couldn’t believe what Sam was telling them.”
Shear, who has publicly called for a slower rollout of AI, sought to suppress reports that a dispute over safety was part of the argument. “The board *didn’t* fire Sam because of a specific disagreement about safety,” he wrote on X. “I’m not crazy enough to take this job without support from the board to commercialize our amazing models.”
Shear wrote that he would hire an independent investigator to report on “the entire process that led to this point” and that he could push for “significant governance changes if necessary.”
Nadella said his company remained committed to working with OpenAI and looks forward to working with Shear and its new leadership team.
Microsoft has committed more than $10 billion in capital and infrastructure credits to OpenAI – although not all of that capital has been drawn down – and has embedded OpenAI’s powerful generative AI tools into its own software.
Altman told the Financial Times this month that he planned to secure further investment from the Seattle group, saying he had a “great partner” in Microsoft.
Shares of Microsoft closed at a record high Monday after rising 2.1 percent, reversing losses late Friday following Altman’s firing.
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