Satya Nadella on Microsoft’s plans after OpenAI sacks CEO Sam Altman: ‘We will…’

Soon after OpenAI, the company that launched ChatGPT a year ago, removed its CEO Sam Altman, speculation was rife that Microsoft Corp., the world’s largest maker of software and OpenAI’s biggest backer, might have been involved in his removal. But Microsoft chief executive officer Satya Nadella tried to ease any concerns Altman’s departure could hurt his company’s long-term artificial intelligence plans.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella.(AP)

“We have a long-term agreement with OpenAI with full access to everything we need to deliver on our innovation agenda and an exciting product roadmap; and remain committed to our partnership, and to Mira and the team,” Satya Nadella wrote on social media platform X (formally Twitter).

“Together, we will continue to deliver the meaningful benefits of this technology to the world,” he added.

Microsoft has invested billions of dollars in OpenAI and has woven the company’s technology into its offerings, including a search engine Bing.

“As you saw at Microsoft Ignite this week, we’re continuing to rapidly innovate for this era of AI, with over 100 announcements across the full tech stack – from AI systems, models, and tools in Azure, to Copilot. Most importantly, we’re committed to delivering all of this to our customers while building for the future,” Nadella added.

Microsoft on Friday ended a three-day conference in which it unveiled a new AI chip that OpenAI said it is testing, as well as various new programmes and updates, many of them based on the startup’s technology.

Altman became a tech world sensation with the release nearly a year ago of ChatGPT, an artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot with unprecedented capabilities, churning out human-level content like poems or artwork in just seconds.

His dismissal caught the tech world by surprise, with rumours rife on social media as to the cause of the sudden sacking.

Altman will be replaced on an interim basis by Mira Murati, the company’s chief technology officer, the statement said.

Murati was “honored and humbled” to step into the leadership role at the company following the ouster of Altman, according to a memo she sent to staff reviewed by Bloomberg. Murati also urged employees still reeling on Friday from the sudden departure of Altman to focus on their work. “It’s more important than ever that we stay focused, driven, and true to our core values,” she wrote.

OpenAI president Greg Brockman quits

Soon after Altman’s sacking, fellow OpenAI co-founder and president Greg Brockman was pushed from the company’s board in the shakeup and put out late in the day that he quit.

“I’m super proud of what we’ve built… but based on today’s news, I quit,” Brockman said in a post at X.

“I continue to believe in the mission of creating safe AGI (artificial general intelligence)that benefits all of humanity,” Brockman added.

(With inputs from agencies)

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