In a surprising turn of events, Microsoft has hired Sam Altman, the former OpenAI CEO, and Greg Brockman, the co-founder and president, to lead an in-house advanced AI research team. These two, along with the GPT-4 lead Jakub Pachocki, Szymon Sidor, and Aleksander Madry, will lead the new team at Microsoft, Brockman confirmed on X (formerly Twitter).
Microsoft's CEO, Satya Nadella, announced the hiring of Altman and Greg Brockman, "together with colleagues" who left following the sudden ouster, earlier today via his official X (formerly known as Twitter) account. Most recently, Microsoft launched its custom AI chip for training large language models, made in collaboration with OpenAI.
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 Emmettâ€¦
— Satya Nadella (@satyanadella) November 20, 2023
After OpenAI fired its CEO, there was a buzz in Silicon Valley about who would replace the ChatGPT-maker as the new chief. Initially, the nonprofit board appointed Mira Murati, the company's chief technology officer, as the interim CEO on Friday. However, upon facing pressure from the senior employees and investors, including Microsoft, the board agreed to bring back Altman.
On Sunday, both Altman and Brockman were seen in OpenAI's San Francisco headquarters to negotiate the terms of their return, which included some serious governance changes, but it was to no avail as the board couldn't come to terms with the two.
OpenAI replaces Mira, appoints Emmett Shear as new interim CEO
Shortly after Microsoft hired Altman and his crew earlier today, The Verge reports that OpenAI's board appointed Emmett Shear as its new CEO, replacing Murati in its second leadership change in four days.
Emmett Shear is a Yale University alumnus who co-founded Twitch, the video-streaming platform, in 2011 and served as its CEO till March 2023. In a post on X, Shear admits that Altman's removal has been "handled very badly."
Today I got a call inviting me to consider a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity: to become the interim CEO of @OpenAI. After consulting with my family and reflecting on it for just a few hours, I accepted. I had recently resigned from my role as CEO of Twitch due to the birth of myâ€¦
— Emmett Shear (@eshear) November 20, 2023
The newly appointed chief executive wants to hire an independent investigator to dig more into the events that led to Altman's firing and generate a report in the next 30 days. Further, Shear wants to reform the management and leadership team to stop more employees from leaving the company.
Interestingly, Shear also says that OpenAI did not fire Altman over "any specific disagreement on safety," denying the rumors about the ouster connected to the pace at which the former CEO was rolling out products to sign up customers and boost the overall revenue.