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Sam Altman In Discussions About OpenAI Return As Employees Revolt, Microsoft Picks Up The Pieces

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A new twist to the drama surrounding OpenAI emerged on Tuesday after reports suggested the companys board is in discussions with ousted co-founder and former CEO Sam Altman about a possible return.

Citing sources with knowledge of the matter, Bloomberg reported discussions are underway between Altman, board member Adam DAngelo and some of OpenAIs investors about reinstating the sacked boss.

Little indication was given as to the circumstances behind Altmans removal from OpenAI, but there was some speculation, later denied by new CEO Emmett Shear, that there were concerns over the safety of his plans to commercialize AI technology.Enter Microsoft

Following Altmans departure, company president and co-founder Greg Brockman resigned in protest, and both have since been hired by Microsoft Corp MSFT to lead a new advanced AI research team.

Also Read: Unpacking The Impact Of OpenAIs Bold Move To Oust CEO What It Means For Investors

But turmoil at OpenAI remains. Vice President of Global Affairs Anna Makanju sent on Monday a memo to staff informing them that Altman, Shear and the rest of the board are in intense discussions to unify the company. This followed threats from the companys staff of mass resignations if Altman was not reinstated.

Evan Morikawa, engagement manager at OpenAI, tweeted on Monday that 95% of the companys employees signed a petition for unity & board ouster asking the board to resign.

Now 715. I should note that this includes colleagues with tenuous visa situations, a colleague who was literally in the hospital with the birth of their first child, signatories in the air on their way to Thanksgiving break, and many others. The support here was shocking https://t.co/gmR0PVg7Wt Evan Morikawa (@E0M) November 20, 2023

Bloombergs report suggested Shear was also being kept in the dark, and was also planning to leave if the board couldnt adequately explain to him the reasons for Altmans sudden dismissal.Loading… Loading… Loading… Governance Must Improve

Meanwhile, Microsoft has offered jobs to anyone wishing to leave OpenAI. In an interview on CNBC, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said: Obviously that depends on the people at OpenAI staying there or coming to Microsoft, so Im open to both options.

Although Microsoft is heavily invested in OpenAI, it has no seat on the board. Could that change in the coming days?

Something has to change, Nadella said in the interview. At this point, I think its very, very clear that something has to change around the governance.

Now Read: Microsoft Mulls OpenAI Board Seat Amid Discussions For Sam Altmans Return As CEO

Photo: Sam Altman courtesy Wikimedia CommonsLoading… Loading… Loading…

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