Sam Altman, former head of OpenAI, is set to join Microsoft to lead a new advanced AI research division, announced Satya Nadella, Microsoft’s CEO, on the social platform X.
The announcement came as an attempt to quash rumors of Altman’s potential return to OpenAI, following his dismissal on Saturday.
Emmett Shear, previously the CEO of Twitch, is poised to take the Altman’s former executive role at OpenAI, expressed his enthusiasm for this change, labeling it as a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity” in a statement on X. In parallel, the former Twitch CEO, voiced concerns over Altman’s departure, suggesting it “seriously damaged our trust.”
Altman, deemed one of the biggest leads in generative AI and a co-founder of OpenAI, was ousted by the company’s board last Friday due to a reported loss of confidence. Mira Murati, OpenAI’s CTO, was named interim CEO.
High-profile figures like former Google CEO Eric Schmidt expressed support, acknowledging Altman’s significant impact on the AI industry.
Speculation about Altman’s next move was rife, especially after a cryptic tweet featuring a guest ID pass, leading some to believe he might establish a competitor to OpenAI. However, Altman’s shift to Microsoft, a major investor in ChatGPT, has put such theories to rest. In response to Nadella’s announcement, Altman affirmed his commitment to the mission.
The leadership upheaval at OpenAI has prompted mixed reactions internally, with several executives emphasizing the importance of their team in the organization’s success.
OpenAI’s new CEO, Emmett Shear, is expected to give OpenAI a push forward. The board, in a memo, remained firm on its decision to remove Altman, highlighting undisclosed communication issues.
Shear has committed to hiring an independent investigator to review the decision-making process around Altman’s departure and plans to reform the management team in response to recent events. The upheaval coincides with concerns over a significant upcoming share sale and unrest among major investors, including Microsoft.
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