Sam Altman returning to OpenAI: Microsoft CEO doesn’t dismiss the possibility

Sam Altman returning to OpenAI
Microsoft’s CEO Satya Nadella speaks at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) CEO Summit in San Francisco, California, U.S., November 15, 2023. Carlos Barria/Reuters/FILE

Even though it had been announced earlier in the day that Sam Altman would be joining Microsoft’s artificial intelligence innovation group, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella made hints on Monday that he was still open to Altman returning to OpenAI.

When asked if Altman will truly join Microsoft in a Monday CNBC interview, Nadella responded, “open to both options.”

Well, that is a decision that needs to be made by the OpenAI board, management, and staff,” Nadella remarked. “We specifically chose to work with OpenAI, and we hope to do so in the future. Obviously, that depends on the OpenAI team staying in that location or moving to Microsoft.

The abrupt firing of Altman by the board on Friday caused chaos at OpenAI, the company that created ChatGPT. Microsoft is one of the largest investors in OpenAI, having contributed $13 billion to the firm.

A chaotic weekend followed Altman’s firing: hundreds of OpenAI employees threatened to quit, and Greg Brockman, the company’s president, resigned. Additionally, Mira Murati was designated as the company’s acting CEO.

Microsoft stated that it would recruit Altman after OpenAI named Emmett Shear, a co-founder of Twitch, as its new interim CEO on Monday. Following the announcement, Microsoft’s stock finished at an all-time high.

However, with OpenAI’s leadership structure in flux, word quickly spread that Altman was considering a comeback to the organization.

Microsoft’s commitment to Altman and OpenAI, “irrespective of configuration,” was reaffirmed by Nadella.

If Sam and Greg aren’t going to be at OpenAI, we clearly want them to have a great place to live, he stated.

In response to a question concerning Microsoft’s stance on OpenAI and the likelihood of landing a board position, Nadella stated, “It’s obvious that the governance needs to be changed.”

When asked whether Altman might eventually be considered for the CEO position at Microsoft if he joins the company, Nadella waved back in a different interview that aired on Kara Swisher’s “On” podcast on Monday.

Let me just say that having so many competent individuals aspiring to be Microsoft CEOs is fantastic, added Nadella.

Credits: CNN

Read more at News Intercept:

OpenAI board stands firm in face of staff revolt over Sam Altman’s ousting

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