Former OpenAI chief Sam Altman joins Microsoft

Sam Altman, the co-founder and former CEO of OpenAI, was hired by Microsoft just days after the tech guru was ousted from the artificial intelligence company.

Microsoft CEO and Chairman Satya Nadella on Monday said the tech giant is “extremely excited” to announce Altman and OpenAI co-founder and former President Greg Brockman will be joining Microsoft to lead a “new advanced AI research team.”

In a repost of Nadella’s announcement on X, formerly known as Twitter, Altman wrote, “the mission continues.”

“I’m super excited to have you join as CEO of this new group, Sam, setting a new pace for innovation,” Nadella wrote in response to Altman.

Brockman, who stepped down as the board’s chairman on Friday and eventually quit following Altman’s ouster, responded to Nadella’s announcement, writing on X, “We are going to build something new & it will be incredible.”

OpenAI, which is known for creating the AI-powered chatbot ChatGPT, announced last Friday Altman would be stepping down as CEO following a review that found he was “not consistently candid in his communications with the board.”

“OpenAI was deliberately structured to advance our mission: to ensure that artificial general intelligence benefits all humanity,” the board of directors said in a statement. “The board remains fully committed to serving this mission.” 

“We are grateful for Sam’s many contributions to the founding and growth of OpenAI,” it continued. “At the same time, we believe new leadership is necessary as we move forward.” 

Microsoft has invested billions into OpenAI and helped provide the computing power to run its AI systems, The Associated Press noted.

Former Twitch CEO Emmet Shear, who announced on Monday he is taking over as OpenAI’s interim chief executive, said he plans to hire an independent investigator to look into the firing of Altman and “reform management and leadership team.”

“And it’s clear that the process and communications around Sam’s removal has been handled very badly, which has seriously damaged our trust,” Shear wrote in a post on X.

The events come after days of speculation over Altman’s possible return to OpenAI. On Sunday, Altman posted a photo to X wearing what appeared to be an OpenAI guest pass, writing, “first and last time I ever wear one of these.”

On Monday morning, several OpenAI employees, including Mira Murati, the chief technology officer of OpenAI who was initially named as its interim CEO, posted on X, “OpenAI is nothing without its people.”

Altman reposted several of these messages, attaching a heart emoji.

Altman’s ouster came nearly a year after OpenAI launched Chat GPT, which quickly surged in popularity and prompted other tech companies to develop their own AI-based products.

Altman appeared before a Senate Judiciary Committee this spring in the wake of growing concerns over AI, telling lawmakers technology could “cause significant harm to the world.”

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